Comparison between Age Groups
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Comparison between Age Groups

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Am Geriatr Soc
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    To describe and compare two age groups’ knowledge of medications linked to falls and willingness to change these medications to reduce their fall risk.


    We analyzed data from community-dwelling adults age 55 and older (n=1,812), including 855 adults aged 55 to 64 years and 957 older adults (65 and older) who participated in the 2016 summer wave of the ConsumerStyles survey. ConsumerStyles is an annual web-based survey. The data are weighted to match the US Current Population Survey proportions on nine US Census Bureau demographic characteristics.


    Survey respondents were asked about medication use, knowledge of side effects, their willingness to change their medications to reduce fall risk, communication in the previous year about fall risk with their healthcare provider, and their comfort in discussing fall risk with their healthcare provider. All data were weighted to match the 2016 population estimates. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests (p ≤ 0.05) were used to identify differences between the two age groups.


    About one-fifth of all respondents reported using at least one class of medication that increases fall risk. Older adults were less likely to report using medications for mood or sadness, less likely to report knowing the side effects of pain medications, and more willing to change their sleep medications compared with their younger counterparts. Among all respondents using these medication classes, less than one-third knew the potential fall-related side effects. However, most of them expressed willingness to change their medication if advised by their healthcare provider.


    Most older adults were unaware of potential fall risks associated with medications prescribed to address pain, difficulty sleeping, mood or sadness, and anxiety- or nervousness-related health issues. However, most were willing to change their medication if recommended by a healthcare provider.

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