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Health and lifestyle risk factors for falls in a large population-based sample of older people in Australia

Health and lifestyle risk factors for falls in a large population-based sample of older people in Australia

Journal of Safety Research 45: 7-13

Fall-related injuries among older people is a significant public health issue. To identify medical, general health and lifestyle factors associated with falls and multiple falls in older persons, a representative sample of people aged 65+ years living in the community in New South Wales (NSW) Australia were surveyed regarding their falls experience, lifestyle and general health. One-quarter of respondents indicated they had fallen in the past 12 months. People who fell were more likely to be aged 85+ years, have cataracts, musculoskeletal system and connective tissue disorders, major diseases of the circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems, use four or more medications, use a mobility aid and be overweight than non-fallers. Individuals aged 85+ years and those who experienced circulatory diseases, used four or more medications and used mobility aids were more likely to experience multiple falls. This representative population-based survey reinforces the multi-factorial nature of falls and the complex interaction of risk factors that increase the likelihood of individuals having a fall or multiple falls. Agencies focused on community-based fall prevention strategies should adopt a systematic, integrated approach to reduce the burden of fall injury at the population-level and should have mechanisms in place at the population-level to monitor the success of fall reduction strategies.

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Accession: 053485638

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23708471

DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2012.11.005

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