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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


PERRACINI, Monica Rodrigues  and  RAMOS, Luiz Roberto. Fall-related factors in a cohort of elderly community residents. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.6, pp.709-716. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated to fall and recurrent fall episodes among elderly living in a community, and to determine the relative risk of each factor as a fall predictor. METHODS: A two-year follow-up study with two segments of multi-dimensional household surveys (1991-1992 and 1994-1995) was carried out in a cohort of 1,667 elderly, aged 65 or older, living in a community in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The instrument used for data collection was the BOMFAQ, the Brazilian version of the Multidimensional Functional Assessment Questionnaire (OARS). A stepwise logistic regression analysis was conducted with p<0.05 and 95% CI. RESULTS: About 31% of the elderly referred a fall episode and around 11% referred two or more fall episodes in the previous year of the first survey. After follow-up, 53.4% didn't refer any fall episodes, 32.7% referred a fall episode either in the first survey or in the second one and almost 14% referred fall episodes in both surveys. The predictive model of recurrent falls was composed by the following variables: absence of a spouse (OR=1.59 95% CI 1.00-2.52), not having a reading habit (OR= 1.56 95% CI 1.03-2.37), history of fractures (OR=4.6 95% CI 2.23-9.69 difficulty to perform one to three activities of daily life (OR=2.37 95% CI 1.49-3.78), difficulty to perform four or more activities of daily life (OR=3.31 95%CI 1.58-6.93) and among those whose sight is most impaired (OR=1.53 95%CI 1.00-2.34). CONCLUSIONS: Population ageing and increase in life expectancy demand preventive and rehabilitation actions in order to reduce risk factors for falls, such as impaired functional capacity, impaired eye sight and lack of cognitive stimulation.

Keywords : Aged; Accidental falls [statistics numerical data]; Health surveys; Accidental falls [prevention control]; Risk factors; Aging health; Rehabilitation.

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