Letters

Guidelines for prevention of falls in people aged over 65

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7285.554 (Published 03 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:554

Guidelines should state that assessment of vision is important

  1. R R Seemongal-Dass ([email protected]), specialist registrar,
  2. T E James, consultant,
  3. C E Atherley, specialist registrar
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF
  2. Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Staines, Middlesex TW18 3AZ
  3. Aventis Pharmaceuticals, West Malling, Kent ME19 4AH

    EDITOR—A fall in an older person can have severe personal as well as healthcare implications. Feder et al have given important guidelines for the prevention of falls in people aged over 65.1 Their aim was to translate trial evidence into recommendations to reduce the rate of falls in people aged over 65.

    The methods used to gather information did not seem to include any references to the patients' visual function. There have been several reports linking poor visual function with an increased risk of falls or fractures related to falls.2-4 A recent study by Ivers et al shows that decreased visual function is a risk factor for hip fractures.5

    It would seem logical that people who do not see well are more likely to fall than those who do see well. It is unfortunate, then, that the guidelines given do not contain …

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