A study in The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that padded hip protectors worn by the elderly do not prevent fractures if a person falls.
The study monitored 1,000 nursing home residents at an average age of 85. The researchers had the participants wear the protector on one hip and leave the other one free to compare the results. After 20 months, the fracture rate between the protected hip and the unprotected hip was no different.
Hip fractures are especially dangerous for older people, and can lead to serious illness and death. The researchers suggested that as new materials were invented, better protection might be possible.
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