News Headlines Article

Walking dogs is sending older people to the ER, study says

Maintaining an exercise regimen as you age is important, and having a pet who requires daily physical activity can be motivation to go for a walk. Unfortunately, walking a leashed dog can increase the risk of fractures in older adults, new research finds.

An injury from this simple activity can result in life-altering circumstances — and such accidents are increasing, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA Surgery.

The study looked at patients who made visits to hospital emergency departments throughout the United States from 2004 to 2017, using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. From 2004 to 2017, researchers estimated that there were more than 32,000 emergency room cases of fractures associated with walking leashed dogs among people 65 and older. Cases increased from an estimated 1,671 ER visits in 2004 to 4,396 in 2017.