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FALLING INTO A VICIOUS CYCLE

Older people fear falls more than anything else, a Boston study finds.

Interviews with elderly residents of a housing development found that 41 percent limited their activities because they were afraid of falls, researcher Jonathon Howland and colleagues at Boston University told the American Public Health Association.

But fear of falling actually increased the risk, because it led to inactivity that weakened muscle tone, they note. Falls are the sixth- leading cause of death in the elderly.

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