by Chung-Hao Lin, Kuo-Chen Liao, Shou-Jin Pu, Yung-Chang Chen, Maw-Sen Liu
Falls are very common among the older people. Nearly one-third older people living in a community fall each year. However, few studies have examined factors associated with falls in a community-dwelling population of older Taiwanese adults. Objectives
To identify the associated factors for falls during the previous 12 months among the community-dwelling Taiwanese older people receiving annual geriatric health examinations. Participants
People aged sixty-five years or older, living in the community, assessed by annual geriatric health examinations Methods
1377 community-dwellers aged =65 years who received annual geriatric health examinations at one hospital in northern Taiwan between March and November of 2008. They were asked about their history of falls during the year prior to their most recent health examination. Results
The average age of the 1377 participants was 74.9±6.8 years, 48.9% of which were women. Three-hundred and thirteen of the participants (22.7%) had at least one fall during the previous year. Multivariate analysis showed that odds ratio for the risk of falling was 1.94 (95% CI 1.36-2.76) when the female gender group is compared with the male gender group. The adjusted odds ratios of age and waist circumference were 1.03 (95% CI 1.00–1.06) and 1.03 (95% CI 1.01–1.05) respectively. The adjusted odds ratios of visual acuity, Karnofsky scale, and serum albumin level were 0.34 (95% CI 0.15–0.76), 0.94 (95% CI 0.89–0.98), and 0.37 (95% CI 0.18–0.76) respectively. Larger waist circumference, older age, female gender, poorer visual acuity, lower score on the Karnofsky Performance Scale, and lower serum albumin level were the independent associated factors for falls. Conclusion
In addition to other associated factors, waist circumference should be included as a novel risk factor for falls.