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Risk factors for falls among older community dwellers in Shenzhen, China


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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