Predictors of Incidence of Fall in Elderly Women; A Six-Month Cohort Study

Mehdi Safarpour, Seyed Reza Hosseini, Masume Mohamadzade, Ali Bijani, Akbar Fotouhi

Abstract

Objective: To determine the incidence and predictive factors of the falls in elderly women in Northern Iran.

Methods: A total of 717 elderly women aged 60 years and above in Amirkola, Northern of Iran participated in this study. Age, history of falls during the 12 months leading to the study, accompanying diseases, status of balance, cognitive status, orthostatic hypotension, state of depressive symptoms, strength of quadriceps muscles and serum vitamin D level were assessed as independent variables during baseline measurement. Incidence of fall (dependent variable) was recorded during a six-month follow-up period.

Results: Of the participants, 7.8% had experience of fall, out of which 50.0% experienced it once, 25.0% twice, and the rest three times or more. With aging, the incidence of orthostatic hypotension also increased and symptomatic depression became aggravated. In the final model, the variables of the number of accompanying diseases (RR=1.78, 95% CI: 1.00-3.18), severe cognitive impairment (RR=12.70, 95% CI: 3.05-52.86), and depressive symptoms (RR=3.19, 95% CI: 1.48-6.86) remained as strong associated variables for incidence of fall.

Conclusion: With increasing severity of depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment along with the comorbidities, incidence of fall also increases in the elderly. Thus, psychological aspects of the elderly and comorbidities in this group should be taken care of seriously.

Keywords

Fall; Women; Cohort; Risk factor

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