Factors associated with falls in the elderly: a community study.

AUTHORS:

Prudham D, Evans JG.

In 2793 respondents aged 65 and over in a survey of a geographically defined community, who were asked about falls in the preceding twelve months, the estimated annual prevalence rate (persons) of falls was 28.0%. Standardized for age, the rate was twice as high in women as in men. Rates increased with age but more steeply in men than in women. Compared with non-fallers, fallers had been in more recent contact with their general practitioner, showed higher prevalence of problems with mobility and daily living, a more frequent history of stroke and heart disease, and had more episodes of non-rotatory vertigo, double vision, faints and blackouts and episodes of weakness or numbness. Fallers also showed more frequent evidence suggestive of cognitive impairment. More fallers than non-fallers were taking diuretics and tranquilizers and these associations merit further study.

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