Most victims of fatal falls among the eldery

More than 140 thousand people died in the Netherlands in 2000. Nearly 2,200 of them died of the consequences of an accident at home or in a public space (excl. road traffic accidents). Most accidents involve old people falling. Drowning and drug overdoses are less frequent.

Half of accidents involve over-eighties

More than half of people who die from such accidents are eighty or older. Nearly a quarter are in their seventies. There are more female than male victims, especially among the over-eighties. In the age group 20 to 50 men are in the majority.

Deaths from accidents by age, 2000

More women than men in their eighties are killed in accidents simply because there are more women in this age group. If we convert the figures to number of deaths per hundred thousand men and women aged over eighty, the differences between the sexes disappear.

Falls most common

Three quarters of accidents are falls. Choking or suffocation come second, followed by drowning and drug overdose. Men die substantially less often than women from a fall. They are more often killed by drowning or an overdose.

Accidental deaths by cause, 2000

Falls are the most common type of fatal accident for people aged forty and older. For the under twenties this is drowning, while between twenty and forty, overdose is the most common accidental death.

Ingeborg Keij