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Risk Factors for Falls and Fall-Related Injuries in Adults 85 Years of Age and Older
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    21862143
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC3236252
  • Funding:
    1T35AG029793-01/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
    323 R49/CE00175/CE/NCIPC CDC HHS/United States
    T35 AG029793/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
    T35 AG029793-03/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Description:
    Background

    Falls are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults. No previous studies on risk factors for falls have focused on adults 85 years and older, the most rapidly growing segment of adults.

    Methods

    We examined demographic, health, and behavioral risk factors for falls and fall-related injuries in adults 65 years and older, with a particular focus on adults 85 years and older. We analyzed self-reported information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for 2008.

    Results

    Data was available for 120,923 people aged 65 or older and 12,684 people aged 85 or older. Of those aged 85 or older, 21.3% reported at least one fall in the past 3 months and 7.2% reported at least one fall related injury requiring medical care or limiting activity for a day or longer. Below average general health, male sex, perceived insufficient sleep, health problems requiring assistive devices, alcohol consumption, increasing body mass index and history of stroke were all independently associated with a greater risk of falls or fall related injuries. The greater risk of falling in those 85 years and older appeared to be due to the deterioration of overall health status with age; among those with excellent overall health status, there was no greater risk of falling in adults 85 years and older compared to those 65–84 years of age.

    Conclusions

    Our results suggest that those with risk factors for falls and fall-related injuries may be appropriate targets for evidence-based fall prevention programs.