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Frailty captures the age-related declines in health leading to increased vulnerability, including falls which are commonplace in older women. The relationship between frailty and falls is complex, with one leading to the other in a vicious cycle.
Frailty, the age-related decline in reserve capacity and resilience, is associated with a multitude of adverse outcomes . Deficits in musculoskeletal health contributes to frailty with gait problems, weakness, reduced reaction time and balance, factors also leading to falls risk. The consequences of falls leads to extensive costs from injuries and fractures, disability and nursing home placement. Given the demographic shift towards an older population and anticipated high care burden, frailty is a research priority.
The relationship between frailty and falls is demonstrated by observations that in community-dwelling populations aged 65 and over, every third person experiences at least one fall annually; fifteen percent leading to significant injury. In those over 80, the proportion increases to every second person. Causes of falling are complex and the combination of general health status, environmental circumstances and chance makes prediction difficult.