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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123

Abstract

SILVA, Alexandre da et al. The prevalence of falls and associated factors among the elderly according to ethnicity. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.8, pp. 2181-2190. ISSN 1413-8123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000800028.

The historical and cultural characteristics reflect the Brazilian population. Elderly blacks are disadvantaged in socio-economic and demographic, clinical, functional and psychosocial aspects, reducing their social autonomy and functional independence. The decline in functional status due to variables associated with age and ethnicity can contribute to disabling events, such as falls. Socio-demographic, clinical and functional aspects related to falls were analyzed; Mobility, functional status and cognition were measured, with a statistical significance of pd"0.05. The sample of 196 elderly people was 48.5% white, 28% brown, 23.5% black, with an average of 69.9 years. There was reduced mobility classified as a medium risk for falls in 60% (p<0.013) among the elderly. With reference to groups analyzed, there were significant differences between variables for family income (p <0.029), the occurrence of falls (p <0.006), fear of falls (p <0.023) and near-falls (p <0.000). Blacks fall more often (p <0.03). Statistical significance was revealed between ethnicity and self-reported occurrence of falls, fear of falling and the occurrence of near-falls, functional limitation and medium risk falls due to reduced mobility, with increased frequency of falls for elderly blacks.

Keywords : The elderly; Ethnic groups; Accidental falls.

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