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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123

Abstract

AVEIRO, Mariana Chaves et al. Mobility and the risk of falls among elderly people of the community of São Carlos. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.9, pp. 2481-2488. ISSN 1413-8123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000900028.

The scope of this study was to assess the mobility and risk of falls among elderly people living within the Family Health Strategy area in São Carlos and identify some factors that have been associated with risks of falls. This is a cross-sectional study that presents data from 739 elderly people (mean age of 69.9 ± 7.2 years old) registered in the Health and Aging Research Group. Data related to sex, age, falls in the last year, mobility using the Timed "Up & Go" (TUG) test and cognitive impairment by Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), were analyzed. Statistical analyses were performed using Chi-square test and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U non-parametric tests. The level of significance used for all comparisons was 5% (p < 0.05). Fallers present worse performance to TUG than non-fallers (p < 0.001). A higher prevalence of fallers was found among women (p < 0.001). No significant association was found between elderly fallers and cognitive impairment by MMSE (p = 0.11). Performance in TUG revealed a significant difference between the different age groups (p < 0.001). Elderly people from São Carlos had lower mobility and higher risk of falls in comparison with healthy people without chronic disorders and independent for daily living activities.

Keywords : Accidental falls; Mobility limitation; Elderly.

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