Objectives To access the epidemiological characteristics of elderly people using emergency medical services (EMS) in Beijing, as a consequence of injurious falls, and the association between an ageing population and injurious falls.
Design A longitudinal observational study based on Beijing EMS data.
Setting All citizens aged 60 years or above who used EMS from 2010 to 2017 in Beijing, China.
Participants During 2010 to 2017, 2516 128 people used EMS in Beijing. Of these, 1528 938 people aged under 60 years were excluded and the remaining 987 190 people were included in our study.
Methods Data were from the emergency dispatch database of Beijing’s Emergency Medical Centre. We described the proportion of elderly people using EMS in Beijing due to injurious falls with regard to region, time, sex, age and proportion of the elderly population.
Results Among the 987 190 participants who used EMS, 82 694 (8.38%) had had a fall. The proportion of falls rose from 7.12% in 2010 to 9.45% in 2017, and was higher in urban (8.62%) than in suburban (7.80%) regions. Elderly people were more likely to use EMS due to injurious falls during September to November (8.99%) than during December to February (7.68%) (adjusted OR (aOR)=1.19), and during 08:00 to 09:59 (10.02%) than during 00:00 to 01:59 (4.11%) (aOR=2.52). Elderly people in districts with high (8.92%, aOR=1.15) and medium (8.23%, aOR=1.09) proportions of an elderly population were more likely to use EMS due to injurious falls than those in districts with a low proportion of elderly population (7.81%).
Conclusions In Beijing, the proportion of elderly people using EMS due to injurious falls increased with age, and was positively correlated with the proportion of the elderly population. Taking care of elderly people and preventing injurious falls should be one of the key issues to be handled in a society with an ageing population.
- injurious falls
- older people
- population aging
- emergency medical services
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SZ and YC contributed equally.
Contributors SZ searched the literature, analysed the data, interpreted the results and drafted the manuscript. YC supervised the study and revised the manuscript. YL, DN and NY collected the data and revised the manuscript. FL and JL analysed the data and revised the manuscript. SS interpreted the results and revised the manuscript. ML conceived and designed the study, supervised the study, interpreted the results, and revised the manuscript. All authors have approved the final version of the manuscript. ML is the guarantor.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
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