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Low Sodium Levels Are Associated With Increased Falls Among The Elderly, Study Finds

December 8, 2010 by  

Low sodium levels are associated with increased falls among the elderly, study findsScientists from the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands have discovered that older adults who have decreased levels of sodium in their blood are at an increased risk to experience a fall and suffer a fracture. This is true even among adults who have only mildly decreased levels of sodium.

For the study, more than 5,200 adults who were over the age of 55 were examined and followed for six years. The authors noted that previous research had found that low sodium levels — also known as hyponatremia — were associated with fractures, falls and osteoporosis.

Nearly 8 percent of the participants suffered from hypontremia, and these individuals also exhibited higher rates of diabetes compared to the subjects with normal sodium levels.

Overall, falls and fractures were more prevalent among the adults who suffered from hyponatremia — 24 percent as opposed to only 16 percent of the normal sodium level participants. The risk for vertebral fractures in the hyponatremia group was the greatest; 61 percent higher when compared to the normal adults.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one out of three adults who are at least 65 years old falls each year. 

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