Downside Of Dog Walking
The good news is that walking your dog is great exercise. Regular jaunts can lower the risk of heart disease, boost your endurance and increase the strength of your legs, especially as you get older. But a new study suggests that seniors should also be aware of possible perils: falls while taking your four-legged companion for his stroll have become increasingly common, leading to thousands of fractures of hips, wrists and upper arms. Broken bones among dog-walking seniors – nearly 8 in 10 of them sustained by women – have increased from 1,671 in 2004 to 4,396 in 2017, a surge that significantly outpaced the overall number of fractures, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers. That’s bad enough – but breaking your hip if you’re over 65 presents a 20 to 30 percent risk of dying within a year. Study co-author Jaimo Ahn, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery, said the study wasn’t meant to deter seniors from owning or walking dogs but to determine and define potential risks that need to be weighed against the benefits.
Kevin Pirruccio et al, “Fractures in Elderly Americans Associated with Walking Leashed Dogs,” JAMA Surgery, March 6, 2019, doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2019.0061
Also in this week’s bulletin:
- A Good Reason To Take A Nap
- A Mediterranean Diet Bonus For Runners
- This week’s recipe: Mediterranean Couscous