There was a 45% increase in facial fractures resulting from recreational activities among older adults over a 5-year period, according to recent study results.
The researchers noted that public health agencies have published guidelines encouraging aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities for the aging U.S. population. They suggested, however, that facial trauma is an underappreciated byproduct of this activity.
The aim of the current study was to assess this trauma incidence and delineate the role of factors including demographics, fracture location and specific activities that yield such injuries. Data were collected from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2015. Individuals older than 55 years were included in the analysis.
Results showed 20,519 ED visits that met inclusion criteria. This included 8,107 women and 12,412 men.
In 2011, there were 3,174 fractures. In 2015, there were 4,612 fractures, for an increase of 45.3%.
The most common cause of facial fractures in the cohort was bicycling, which was responsible for 26.6% of the incidents. Other common causes included team sports (15.4%), outdoor activities (10.1%), gardening (9.5%), and walking or jogging (5.5%).
Nasal fractures comprised 65.4% of the incidents, followed by orbital fractures, at 14.1%.
Bicycle-associated fractures occurred in 35.7% of men and 14.9% of women (P = 3.1056 x 10–170). Conversely, gardening-associated fractures occurred more frequently in women than men (15.5% vs. 6.1%; P = 2.1029 x 10−97). Women also experienced greater rates of outdoor activity-related fractures (14.6% vs. 7.7%; P = 4.3156 x 10−50), and those related to gym exercise (7.7% vs. 1.3%; P = 3.0281 x 10−114).
Orbital fractures occurred in 14.9% of men and 12.8% of women (P = 6.1468 x 10–5). Similarly, mandible fractures also were more common among men than women (9.3% vs. 2%; P = 9.3760 x 10−64).
Older individuals were more likely to sustain injuries associated with walking, jogging, or gardening, according to the results.
“These findings offer areas for targeted prevention and provide valuable information for patient counseling,” the researchers concluded. “Furthermore, initiatives encouraging greater activity among this population may need to be accompanied by guidelines for injury prevention.” – by Rob Volansky
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.