W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore; Flagstaff, Arizona) reported the launch of a new patient education resource to help provide information about the causes, symptoms and available treatments for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). The resource, part of broader content and feature improvements to www.goremedical.com, guides visitors through a “television-like” experience that addresses questions and concerns commonly raised by those affected by AAA.

Each year about 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with AAA. The Gore AAA Patient Information Resource was designed to educate the public about the condition and its treatment options, which include medication, open surgical repair and endovascular surgery.

CDC: senior fall-related deaths increasing

Fall-related death rates for men and women 65 years and older increased significantly from 1993 to 2003, according to a report released in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ’s (Atlanta) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In 2003, more than 13,700 older adults died from falls, making them the leading cause of injury deaths among people 65 and older. From 1993 to 2003 fatal falls increased by more than 55% — with more men (46.2%) dying from falls than women (31.1%).

The report also indicates that in 2003 almost 1.8 million seniors were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries from falls and more than 460,000 were hospitalized. In 2000, the direct medical costs for falls among older adults were about $19 billion.

“Fall death rates have increased faster than fall injury rates. In large part, this is because people are living longer, and many of our seniors now are older and frailer,” said Judy Stevens, PhD, an epidemiologist in CDC’s Injury Center and author of the report.

Other highlights in the report are:

  • From 1993 to 2003, fatal fall rates increased for both sexes and all races, but they remained consistently higher for men.
  • In contrast to fatal falls, rates for nonfatal fall-related injuries were, on average, 48% higher for women than for men.
  • The decline in women’s hip fracture injury rates from 2001 to 2004 may be a result of prevention efforts such as osteoporosis screening combined with widespread education about treatments to rebuild bone mass.
  • As they age, men become more susceptible to hip fractures if they fall.

Osteoporosis screening and treatment may also benefit men, the CDC said.