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Exercise May Reduce Fall Injuries in Elderly

A structured exercise program may reduce the risk of serious injury from falls in older women, a new study suggests. The study included about 400 women, ages 70 to 80. All of them had normal vitamin D levels when the study began. They were randomly divided into 4 groups. One group took daily pills containing 800 international units of vitamin D. Another group took part in a structured exercise program. They focused on improving balance, agility and movement. They also worked on strength and the ability to lift weight. Classes occurred twice a week for a year, then once a week for a second year. A third group took vitamin D and also took exercise classes. The fourth group did neither. During the 2-year study, women in all 4 groups were equally likely to fall. But those in the 2 groups that did exercise were only about half as likely to have a serious injury when they fell.

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