3 years ago

A predictive model of isolated and recurrent falls in functionally independent community-dwelling older adults

Pilar Pérez-ros, Francisco M. Martínez-arnau, Rafael M. Orti-lucas, Francisco J. Tarazona-santabalbina

Publication date: Available online 8 June 2018

Source: Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Author(s): Pilar Pérez-Ros, Francisco M. Martínez-Arnau, Rafael M. Orti-Lucas, Francisco J. Tarazona-Santabalbina


Aging is associated with an increased risk of accidental falls. Falls in older people have been widely studied in nursing homes and in the elderly with poor functionality, but there have been few investigations into functionally independent community-dwelling older adults.


To determine the predictive factors for falls in functionally independent community-dwelling older adults.


A cohort trial-nested case–control study was carried out. The participants were community-dwelling people aged 70 and over who were treated in primary care centers from December 2012 to May 2014 in la Ribera (Valencia, Spain).


There were a total of 374 participants, with a mean age of 76.1 (SD 3.4) years (63.8% females). The subjects presented high functionality scores: Barthel 96.5 (SD 9.4), Lawton 7.2 (SD1.2), Tinetti 25.6 (SD 3.3). The mean number of prescribed drugs was 4.7 (SD 2.9). The cumulative incidence of falls was 39.2%, and 24.1% of these older adults suffered falls. The number of falls in the previous 12 months (OR = 1.3; 95%CI: 1.11–1.53; p < 0.001) and alpha-blockers (OR = 6.72; 95%CI: 1.62–27.79; p = 0.009) were predictors of falls. The presence of previous fractures (OR = 9.55; 95%CI: 4.1–22.25; p < 0.001), a body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2 (OR = 1.09; 95%CI: 1.01–1.19; p = 0.035), and who are using benzodiazepines and beta-blockers (OR = 2.77; 95%CI: 1.53–5.02; p < 0.001), were predictors of recurrent fallers.


Older people who use alpha-blockers, benzodiazepines and beta-blockers, had previous fractures, with increased body mass index are more likely to fall.

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