Dog Walking Is Causing Higher Rate Of ER Visits For Seniors

Owning A Dog Is Beneficial But It Has A Little Known Risk

Owning A Dog Is Beneficial But It Has A Little Known Risk

Injuries typically happen when a dog pulls on a leash and walkers lose their balance. His team tracked national data and found that among people aged 65 and older, fractures associated with walking leashed dogs rose from about 1,700 cases in 2004 to nearly 4,400 cases in 2017 - a 163 percent rise.

The study has found that fractures among older adults are common and more frequent due to dog-walking. "There are things we should be aware of before saying, 'Hey, you should get a dog and take your dog for a walk'".

The University of Pennsylvania researchers, whose study was published Thursday in JAMA Surgery, focused only on seniors, a group Ahn said they figured would be most vulnerable to this sort of injury, and for whom broken bones can be particularly insidious.

Fractures suffered by elderly Americans while walking their dogs have more than doubled in recent years, new research shows.

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The number of older people injuring themselves while walking dogs is skyrocketing. The study revealed that an estimated 1,671 visits to the ER for dog walking-related accidents were recorded in 2004. By 2017, the number ballooned to 4,396.

"This study highlights that while there are undoubtedly pros to dog walking, patients' risks for falls must be factored into lifestyle recommendations in an effort to minimize such injuries", Kevin Pirruccio, the study's lead author, said in a statement published on American website Science Daily. He said that hospital coding changes that include more specific details about how injuries occurred might partly explain the increase. The study authors warned that this type of fracture is linked to long-term decreases in functional capabilities, quality of life, and mortality rates approaching 30 percent.

Susan Bush, 69, told the Associated Press that she has had several injuries from falls while walking her dogs.

Still, taking your dog for a walk can also bring big health rewards, one joint specialist said.

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