Inj Prev doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2011-040202
  • Brief report

Association between prescription medications and falls at home among young and middle-aged adults

Press Release
  1. Elizabeth Robinson
  1. Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bridget Kool, Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; b.kool{at}
  1. Contributors BK led the study design, analysis of the study findings and writing of the manuscript. SA led the conception of the study and contributed to the study design, analysis of the study findings and critically revised the draft manuscript for important intellectual content. ER helped design the study's analytical strategy and contributed to the analysis and the interpretation of the study findings.

  • Accepted 9 December 2011
  • Published Online First 16 January 2012


Using data from a population-based case–control study of people aged 25–60 years in Auckland, New Zealand, the authors investigated the association between medications and fall-related injuries at home. The 335 cases comprised people who died or were admitted to hospital as a result of unintentional falls at home, and the 352 controls were randomly selected from the electoral roll. After controlling for confounding by demographic, personal and lifestyle factors, the use of two or more prescription medications relative to one or no medications was associated with an increased risk of fall injury (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3 to 4.8). Antihypertensives and lipid lowering drugs were the most common groups involved. The findings suggest that, as in the case of older people, younger working aged adults who use multiple prescription medications are at increased risk of falls, an aspect that should be considered in falls prevention programmes.


  • Funding This research was funded and supported by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), Wellington, New Zealand. Views and/or conclusions in this article are those of the authors and may not reflect the position of ACC. Grant number: 10820/07.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Northern Regional Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The original study protocol is available with the authors and can be obtained on request. Access to the dataset used in these analyses is restricted to the authors only as stipulated by the ethics approval body.

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