+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Psychotropic medications and risk for falls among community-dwelling frail older people: an observational study



Psychotropic medications and risk for falls among community-dwelling frail older people: an observational study



Journals of Gerontology. Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 60(5): 622-626



Injuries due to falls are one of the most important public health concerns for all ages, but especially for frail elderly people. Although a small number of falls have a single cause, the majority have many different causes resulting from the interactions between intrinsic or extrinsic risk factors. We conducted an observational study on data from a large population of community-dwelling elderly people to tests the hypothesis that the current use of different classes of psychotropic medications, including antipsychotic agents, benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepine sedative-hypnotics, and antidepressants, increases the risk for falls. We analyzed data from a large collaborative observational study group, the Italian Silver Network Home Care project, that collected data on patients admitted to home care programs (n = 2854). After adjusting for all potential confounders, users of any psychotropic drugs had an increased risk of fall of nearly 47% (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24-1.74). Similarly, compared with nonusers, users of atypical antipsychotic drugs also had an increased risk of falling at least once (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.00-2.11). Among benzodiazepine users, patients taking agents with long elimination half-life (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.00-2.19) and patients taking benzodiazepines with short elimination half-life (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.02-1.72) had an increased risk of falls. Patients taking antidepressants did not show a higher risk of falling compared to nonusers (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.83-1.41). Our data suggest that, among psychotropic medications, antipsychotic agents and benzodiazepines are associated with an increased risk of falls. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that preferential prescribing of short-acting benzodiazepines instead of long-acting agents or atypical antipsychotic medications instead of typical agents will substantially decrease fall risk associated with the use of these classes of drugs.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 050070622

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15972615

DOI: 10.1093/gerona/60.5.622


Related references

A Literature Review of Psychotropic Medications and Alcohol as Risk Factors for Falls in Community Dwelling Older Adults. Clinical Drug Investigation 39(2): 117-139, 2019

Preventing falls in community-dwelling frail older people using a home intervention team (HIT): Results from the randomized falls-HIT trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 51(3): 300-305, 2003

ICF participation restriction is common in frail, community-dwelling older people: an observational cross-sectional study. PhysioTherapy 97(1): 26-32, 2011

Polypharmacy including falls risk-increasing medications and subsequent falls in community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults. Age and Ageing 44(1): 90-96, 2015

Factors associated with analgesic and psychotropic medications use by community-dwelling older people with chronic pain. Australian and new Zealand Journal of Public Health 23(5): 471-474, 1999

Which neuromuscular or cognitive test is the optimal screening tool to predict falls in frail community-dwelling older people?. Gerontology 55(5): 532-538, 2009

Angiotensin system-blocking medications are associated with fewer falls over 12 months in community-dwelling older people. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 61(5): 776-781, 2013

Psychotropic medications and fall risk in community-dwelling older persons using walking-aids. PhysioTherapy 101: E227-E228, 2015

Cost-effectiveness of a day hospital falls prevention programme for screened community-dwelling older people at high risk of falls. Age and Ageing 39(6): 710-716, 2010

Effectiveness of a home-based cognitive behavioral program to manage concerns about falls in community-dwelling, frail older people: results of a randomized controlled trial. Bmc Geriatrics 16: 2, 2016

A multicentre randomised controlled trial of day hospital-based falls prevention programme for a screened population of community-dwelling older people at high risk of falls. Age and Ageing 39(6): 704-710, 2010

Evaluating an in-home multicomponent cognitive behavioural programme to manage concerns about falls and associated activity avoidance in frail community-dwelling older people: Design of a randomised control trial [NCT01358032. Bmc Health Services Research 11: 228, 2011

Risk for falls among community-dwelling older people: systematic literature review. Revista Gaucha de Enfermagem 37(4): E55030, 2017

Does baseline depression increase the risk of unexplained and accidental falls in a cohort of community-dwelling older people? Data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 33(2): E205-E211, 2018

Statin Treatment and Mortality in Community-Dwelling Frail Older Patients with Diabetes Mellitus: A Retrospective Observational Study. Plos one 10(6): E0130946, 2015