TAMPA : Falling is the leading cause of injury related death among people over age 65, and seniors who want to avoid falls should exercise, not rely on supplements like Vitamin D, US guidelines said on Tuesday.

The few recommendations from the US Preventive Securities Task Force [USPSTF] update those last issued by in 2012, when the independent medical advisory group was favorable to taking supplements containing Vitamin D as a way of preventing fall-related injury.

But unless a person has a vitamin D deficiency or a frail bone condition known as osteoporosis, the task force's latest review of clinical trials on the topic found no benefit for average seniors, and even an increased risk of kidney stones for those who take vitamin D and calcium supplements.

''The USPSTF found adequate evidence that vitamin D supplementation has no benefit in preventing falls in older adults,'' said the guidelines published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Instead, the USPSTF ''recommends exercise interventions to prevent falls'' in those 65 years or older who are at increased risk of falling.

''Vitamin D supplementation alone or with calcium was not associated with reduced fracture incidence among adults without vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis, or prior fracture, said the report. .

According to the most recent data from 2014, nearly 25 % of US adults 65 years or older reported falling.

Nearly 38 percent ''needed medical treatment or restricted activity for a day or longer,'' said the JAMA report. Some 33,000 people died due to falls in 2015. [AFP] 


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