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Predictors of falls in the elderly by location

Bergland, A ; Jarnlo, Gun-Britt LU and Laake, K (2003) In Aging clinical and experimental research 15(1). p.43-50
Abstract
Background and aims: In the elderly, balance and walking impairments are assumed to play an important role in causing falls. We have assessed prospectively the predictive ability of health, function and balance variables regarding falls and their location. Methods: Falls which occurred during one year in a random sample of 307 women aged 75 years and over (mean 80.8 years, response rate 74.5%) living in the community were recorded and related to baseline registrations of health, medication and tests of walking and balance. Results: In all, 155 women (50.5%) reported 308 falls. Outdoor falls were significantly more frequent than indoor falls (57.5 vs 42.5%). The variables having had a fall before the start of the study, osteoporosis,... (More)
Background and aims: In the elderly, balance and walking impairments are assumed to play an important role in causing falls. We have assessed prospectively the predictive ability of health, function and balance variables regarding falls and their location. Methods: Falls which occurred during one year in a random sample of 307 women aged 75 years and over (mean 80.8 years, response rate 74.5%) living in the community were recorded and related to baseline registrations of health, medication and tests of walking and balance. Results: In all, 155 women (50.5%) reported 308 falls. Outdoor falls were significantly more frequent than indoor falls (57.5 vs 42.5%). The variables having had a fall before the start of the study, osteoporosis, hypertension, feeling depressed, unable to climb 40 cm high steps and walking slowly, all independently predicted a higher number of falls overall. Regarding fall location, having experienced a fall before study start was associated with more falls indoors as well as outdoors. Vision impairment, symptoms of depression, a faster comfortable walking speed, and being able to cope with higher steps were all independent predictors of more outdoor falls also after adjustment for outdoor exposure. A slower comfortable walking speed, a higher amplitude of the center of pressure movements in the frontal plane, a poorer score on the Timed Up & Go test, multi-morbidity, poor cognition and hypertension were independent risk factors for indoor falls. Neither number of drugs used nor any specific medication appeared as independent risk factors for falls in this study. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that risk factors for indoor and outdoor falls are different. Location of fall may be an important confounder in studies of predictors of falls in the elderly which should encompass this type of information. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
location of falls, morbidity, mobility, risk factors for falls, function, elderly, balance, falls
in
Aging clinical and experimental research
volume
15
issue
1
pages
43 - 50
publisher
Kurtis
external identifiers
  • wos:000183173300008
  • pmid:12841418
  • scopus:0038655463
ISSN
1720-8319
language
English
LU publication?
yes
additional info
The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Physiotherapy (Closed 2012) (013042000)
id
5d97b56d-54cb-4a9a-9092-d545b9ebd20e (old id 907462)
alternative location
http://www.kurtis.it/magazine/aging/aging2003_01_08.pdf
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 16:08:09
date last changed
2021-08-18 01:10:13
@article{5d97b56d-54cb-4a9a-9092-d545b9ebd20e,
  abstract     = {Background and aims: In the elderly, balance and walking impairments are assumed to play an important role in causing falls. We have assessed prospectively the predictive ability of health, function and balance variables regarding falls and their location. Methods: Falls which occurred during one year in a random sample of 307 women aged 75 years and over (mean 80.8 years, response rate 74.5%) living in the community were recorded and related to baseline registrations of health, medication and tests of walking and balance. Results: In all, 155 women (50.5%) reported 308 falls. Outdoor falls were significantly more frequent than indoor falls (57.5 vs 42.5%). The variables having had a fall before the start of the study, osteoporosis, hypertension, feeling depressed, unable to climb 40 cm high steps and walking slowly, all independently predicted a higher number of falls overall. Regarding fall location, having experienced a fall before study start was associated with more falls indoors as well as outdoors. Vision impairment, symptoms of depression, a faster comfortable walking speed, and being able to cope with higher steps were all independent predictors of more outdoor falls also after adjustment for outdoor exposure. A slower comfortable walking speed, a higher amplitude of the center of pressure movements in the frontal plane, a poorer score on the Timed Up & Go test, multi-morbidity, poor cognition and hypertension were independent risk factors for indoor falls. Neither number of drugs used nor any specific medication appeared as independent risk factors for falls in this study. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that risk factors for indoor and outdoor falls are different. Location of fall may be an important confounder in studies of predictors of falls in the elderly which should encompass this type of information.},
  author       = {Bergland, A and Jarnlo, Gun-Britt and Laake, K},
  issn         = {1720-8319},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {43--50},
  publisher    = {Kurtis},
  series       = {Aging clinical and experimental research},
  title        = {Predictors of falls in the elderly by location},
  url          = {http://www.kurtis.it/magazine/aging/aging2003_01_08.pdf},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2003},
}