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Risk factors for falls among older community dwellers in Shenzhen, China
  1. Haibin Zhou1,
  2. Ke Peng2,3,
  3. Anne Tiedemann2,
  4. Ji Peng1,
  5. Catherine Sherrington2
  1. 1 Chronic Disease Prevention division, Shenzhen Center for Chronic Disease Control, Shenzhen, China
  2. 2 School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Prof. Ji Peng, Shenzhen Center for Chronic Disease Control, Shenzhen 518020, China; pengji126{at}


Objective To determine the rate of falls reported by older community dwellers in Shenzhen, China and to identify fall-related risk factors.

Method Participants were community dwellers residing in Shenzhen, China, who were aged 60 years and over and were recruited using multistage random sampling. All participants were surveyed about demographic and health-related information, mood, vision and hearing impairment, self-rated health and retrospective falls, and a test of balance was administered. Univariate and multivariate negative binomial regression was used to identify factors associated with a greater number of falls.

Result Study participants were 1290 people aged 60–98 years (mean 68.2 years, SD ±6.5). One hundred and seventy-seven falls were reported. One hundred and eleven (8.6%) participants reported one fall in the past year, 17 (1.3%) participants reported two falls and 10 (0.8%) participants reported three or more falls. Univariate analysis showed that age, living alone, presence of a medical condition, medication usage, visual impairment, poor subjective body sense perception, low mood, poor self-rated health and poor balance were associated with a greater number of falls in the past year. Multivariate analysis identified presence of a medical condition (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=1.40, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.67), living alone (IRR=2.46, 95% CI 1.12 to 5.41), visual impairment (IRR=1.46, 95% CI 1.03 to 2.08), walking aid use (IRR=2.29, 95% CI 1.12 to 4.69) and impaired balance (IRR=1.05, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.10) to be significantly associated with a greater number of falls in the past year.

Conclusion More falls occurred in older Chinese people with presence of a medical condition, living alone, visual impairment, used a walking aid and impaired balance.

  • accidental falls
  • risk factors
  • aged
  • Chinese

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  • HZ and KP contributed equally.

  • Contributors KP, HZ and JP participated in field investigation and acquired the data. KP, AT and CS analysed data and wrote the first draft. All authors reviewed the manuscript and approved the submission.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from the Shenzhen Centre for Chronic Disease Control. (reference number 201309).

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.