Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
CRUZ, Danielle Teles da et al. Prevalence of falls and associated factors in elderly individuals. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.1, pp.138-146. Epub Dec 20, 2011. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102011005000087.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of falls in elderly individuals and to analyze associated factors. METHODS: Cross-sectional study with 420 elderly subjects (aged 60 years or older) living in the city of Juiz de Fora (Southeastern Brazil) in 2010. A household survey was conducted and the occurrence of falls in the 12 previous months was described. For the analysis of factors associated with the outcome, a theoretical determination model with three hierarchical blocks was built. The variables were adjusted among each other within each block; those with level of significance < 0.20 were included in the Poisson regression model and adjusted to the immediately higher level, with 5% significance level. RESULTS: The prevalence of falls among the elderly was 32.1% (95%CI: 27.7; 36.9). Among those who experienced falls, 53% had a single fall and 19% had fractures as a consequence. Most of the falls (59%) occurred at the elderly person's home. The occurrence of falls was associated with old age, female sex, need of help for locomotion and self-reported diagnosis of osteoporosis. CONCLUSIONS: Falls are frequent among the elderly. Knowledge of the factors associated with the occurrence of this event can aid the development of prevention strategies and adequate health services.
Keywords : Aged; Accidental Falls; Risk Factors; Cross-Sectional Studies.