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WSU study: Active senior citizens at rising risk of facial fractures

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Wayne State University researchers say active seniors face a growing risk.

People over 55 are encouraged to get out and exercise more.

But Wayne State researchers says there was a 45% increase in older Americans showing up in emergency rooms with broken noses and other facial fractures in recent years.

Researcher Peter Svider says among menbike-riding accidentsare a main cause of facial fractures, while for older women gardening mishaps are the leading cause.

He says there’s no easy solution.

“I mean the easiest answer is not to garden, but obviously there are issues with that.   And we want people to be active,” says Svider.

Falling off a bicycle or tripping while walking with a clay pot in your hand is something a person can do at any age.  But as people age, bones can become more brittle and likely to fracture.

“If someone is more prone to falling or has a history of falling,” says Svider, “Maybe this is the type of activity that should be done with supervision or at least with other people nearby.”

The study appears in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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