Washington: Home-based exercises followed by voluntary home training could cut the risk of hip fractures among elderly women, says a new study.Researchers found that exercise is apparently linked with long-term effects on balance and gait (manner of walking), and may help protect high-risk, elderly women from hip fractures, according to a report "Falls are responsible for at least 90 percent of all hip fractures. Hip fractures place the greatest demands on resources and have the greatest effect on patients because they are associated with high mortality rates and increased morbidity," the authors write as background in the article. Dr. Raija Korpelainen, of Oulu Deaconess Institute, Oulu, Finland, and colleagues performed an extended follow-up of 160 women who participated in a randomised trial aimed at reducing risk factors for fractures in elderly women with osteopenia (a reduction in bone mass, or low levels of bone calcium).
Additionally, no hip fractures occurred in the exercise group during the follow-up period, while five hip fractures occurred in the control group.The exercise group also "demonstrated a significant gain compared with the control group in mean leg strength during the trial." Additionally, by the end of 2005, one woman in the exercise group had died compared with eight women in the control group, giving a crude death rate of 0.003 per 1,000 women per year in the exercise group and 0.03 for the control group.According to the author``s findings, "30 months of supervised, mainly home-based exercises followed by voluntary home training had a positive long-term effect on balance and gait in high-risk elderly women." Additionally, "life-long physical activity was associated with reduced risk of fractures. Furthermore, mortality was significantly lower in the exercise group than in the control group during the extended follow-up period. Regular daily physical activity should be recommended to elderly women with osteopenia."The study has been published in the latest issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.ANI
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