SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.17 issue5-6Chronic diseases and functional limitation in older adults: a comparative study in seven cities of Latin America and the CaribbeanThe contribution of living arrangements in the provision of care for elderly persons with functional impairments in São Paulo, Brazil author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Page  

Services on Demand




Related links


Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


REYES-ORTIZ, Carlos A.; AL SNIH, Soham  and  MARKIDES, Kyriakos S.. Falls among elderly persons in Latin America and the Caribbean and among elderly Mexican-Americans. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2005, vol.17, n.5-6, pp.362-369. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of and risk factors for falls among community-dwelling elders in Latin America and the Caribbean and among elderly Mexican-Americans in the southwestern United States. METHODS: Data for the study came from a project called Health, Well-Being, and Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean (Salud, Bienestar y Envejecimiento en América Latina y el Caribe) (the "SABE project") (surveys from seven cities, with a total of 9 765 subjects) and from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (H-EPESE) (1 483 subjects). RESULTS: The overall prevalence of falls across the seven SABE cities and the H-EPESE ranged from 21.6% in Bridgetown, Barbados, to 34.0% in Santiago, Chile. In multiple logistic regression analyses, female gender, increased age, high depressive symptoms, and having any functional limitations were significant independent risk factors for falls in most of the cities studied as well as among the elderly Mexican-Americans. In several of the cities, significant risk factors also included diabetes, urinary incontinence, and arthritis. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of falls had a large variation among the countries studied. Some of the risk factors that we identified could be modified so as to help prevent falls in older people in these populations. The factors deserving attention include depressive symptoms, functional limitations, diabetes, and urinary incontinence.

Keywords : Accidental falls; aged; aged, 80 and over; risk factors; Latin America; Caribbean; Mexican Americans.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in English     · English ( pdf )