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Falls are a common geriatric syndrome. They are highly prevalent in older people, their impact on quality of life and disability is substantial, and multiple factors contribute to the risk.1 Age-related changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and declining health make older people particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events, including falls. Risk factors are of most importance in clinical practice if they are easily identifiable, modifiable and, at best, avoidable. Medication use often meets these criteria.
Two credible meta-analyses on drugs and falls were published by Leipzig and colleagues in 1999.2 3 Woolcott and colleagues recently provided a quantitative update to these meta-analyses. They demonstrated a significant association between the use of sedatives/hypnotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines and falls in older people. Their meta-analysis was based on data from 22 original studies published between …
Competing interests None.