Objective: To assess physical performance, number of falls, previous fragility fractures, and ongoing pharmacological therapy in a cohort of post-menopausal women, according to their risk of falling.
Methods: In this multicenter cross-sectional study, we recruited in a 3-year period (May 2016 to April 2019), women aged >60 years referred to seven Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism Outpatient Services of the Italian Group for the Study of Metabolic Bone Diseases. The study population was divided into three groups according to the risk of falling, assessed through the Elderly Fall Screening Test (EFST): low risk (EFST score=0-1); moderate risk (EFST=2-3); high risk (EFST=4-5). Outcome measures were: 4-meter gait speed (4MGS); unipedal stance time (UST); number of falls in the previous year; previous fragility fractures; ongoing pharmacological therapy.
Results: We analyzed 753 women (mean aged 70.1±9.2 years): 378 (50.2%) at low risk of falling, 247 (32.8%) at moderate risk, and 128 (17.0%) at high risk. 4MGS and UST resulted as pathological in the 93.9% and 99.2%, respectively, of women at high risk. There were significant differences among groups for both outcomes (p<0.001). There was also a significant difference among groups (p<0.001) in terms of previous falls and fragility fractures. Lastly, there were significant differences (p<0.05) among groups in using antihypertensive drugs, antiplatelet agents, anticoagulants, antidepressants, anti-osteoporotic drugs, and vitamin D, and/or calcium supplementation.
Conclusion: Physical performance, prevalence of falls and fragility fractures, and an assessment of pharmacological therapy should be investigated in post-menopausal women because of their significant correlation with risk of falling.
- accidental falls
- walking speed