Rate of falls and their risk factors in elderly individuals living in the community

N. R. Moreno-Martínez, D. Ruiz-Hidalgo, E. Burdoy-Joaquim, G. Vázquez-Mata

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: falls in the elderly are a significant health problem that can be prevented once risk factors have been identified. The objective of this study was to determine the rate of falls among elderly persons living in the community and their risk factors. Patients and methods: two hundred ambulatory individuals aged 75 years or older attending an outpatient clinic were evaluated by personal interview. Demographic and social variables, health characteristics, use of healthcare resources and falls were studied. Bivariate analysis was performed and significant variables were entered into a conditional logistic regression analysis. Results: the rate of falls per year was 56.5% and rate of recurrent falls was 10.5%. The factors associated with falls in the logistic regression model were living with a spouse (OR = 0.37), taking three or more drugs (OR = 5.30), cardiovascular diseases (OR = 0.29), and taking nitrates (OR = 0.21). The factors associated with recurrent falls were change of home (OR = 11.10), living with a spouse (OR = 0.20), respiratory (OR = 6.44) and cardiovascular diseases (OR = 0.27), and taking laxatives (OR = 9.55). Conclusions: in our study the rate of falls and recurrent falls was similar to that described in other studies in western countries. Our results suggest that taking at least three medications and the use of laxatives were potentially preventable risk factors. Living with a spouse seemed to protect from both falls and recurrent falls in elderly people living in the community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
JournalRevista Espanola de Geriatria y Gerontologia
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


  • Accidental falls
  • Community
  • Elderly
  • Living alone
  • Risk factors


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