To test the association between obesity and specific types and anatomical sites of unintentional injuries in older adults.
Participants consisted of 52,857 men and women aged =65 years from the 2003 and 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey. Weight, height, and details on injuries occurring in the past year were obtained by survey.
Obese individuals had a higher risk for sprains/strains occurring at any anatomical site (odds ratio, 95% confidence interval: men 1.48, 1.48-1.62; women 1.14, 1.10-1.27). Conversely, obese individuals were less likely to have a fracture at any anatomical location (men 0.56, 0.50-0.63; women 0.66, 0.51-0.92) or at the hip (men 0.31, 0.12-0.53; women 0.42, 0.29-0.92). Finally, obese older adults did not experience more superficial injuries than normal-weight individuals.
Among this large sample of older adults, obesity provided some protection against fractures but was associated with higher odds for sprains/strains.