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Fall Risk Factors in Mid-Age Women: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health.

Am J Prev Med. 2018 Jan;54(1):51-63 Authors: White AM, Tooth LR, Peeters GMEEG

INTRODUCTION: In contrast to older adults, little is known about risk factors for falls in adults aged 50-64 years, despite a high prevalence of falls in this age group. The aim was to identify risk factors for falls in mid-age women and explore how associations change with age. METHODS: Data were analyzed in 2016 from women aged 50-55 years in 2001 (born 1946-1951) in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. The predictor variables were health-related factors (measured 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010) and the outcome was falls in the past 12 months (measured 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013). Prospective associations between predictor variables and falls measured 3 years later were analyzed using logistic regression with complete data for 4,629, 7,096, 5,911, and 5,774 participants. RESULTS: In surveys, 20.5% (2004), 30.7% (2007), 30.5% (2010), and 26.6% (2013) of women reported a fall in the previous 12 months. In the univariable models, most factors were associated with falls 3 years later. In the multivariable models, higher odds of falling were found for overweight and obese women compared with healthy weight women at all survey intervals (OR range, 1.15-1.43). Impaired vision (OR range, 1.25-1.35) and poor physical functioning (OR range, 1.24-1.66) were associated with falls at three survey intervals. Depression (OR range, 1.31-1.42), leaking urine (OR range, 1.25-1.49), stiff/painful joints (OR range, 1.26-1.62), severe tiredness (OR range, 1.29-1.49), osteoporosis (OR range, 1.25-1.52), and hormone replacement therapy (OR range, 0.69-0.79) were associated with falls at two survey intervals. There was no obvious age-related increase or decrease in the number of statistically significant associations. CONCLUSIONS: Identified fall risk factors varied over time, highlighting that falling involves a complex interplay of risk factors in mid-age women. PMID: 29254554 [PubMed - in process]

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