Risk factors for falls in community-dwelling older people: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Silvia Deandrea, Ersilia Lucenteforte, Francesca Bravi, Roberto Foschi, Carlo La Vecchia, Eva Negri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Falls are the main cause of accidental death in persons aged 65 years or older. Methods: Using MEDLINE and previous reviews, we searched for prospective studies investigating risk factors for falls among community-dwelling older people. For risk factors investigated by at least 5 studies in a comparable way, we computed pooled odds ratios (ORs) using random-effects models, with a test for heterogeneity. Results: A total of 74 studies met the inclusion criteria and 31 risk factors were considered, including sociodemographic, mobility, sensory, psychologic, and medical factors and medication use. The strongest associations were found for history of falls (OR = 2.8 for all fallers; OR = 3.5 for recurrent fallers), gait problems (OR = 2.1; 2.2), walking aids use (OR = 2.2; 3.1), vertigo (OR = 1.8; 2.3), Parkinson disease (OR = 2.7; 2.8), and antiepileptic drug use (OR = 1.9; 2.7). For most other factors, the ORs were moderately above 1. ORs were generally higher for recurrent fallers than for all fallers. For some factors, there was substantial heterogeneity among studies. For some important factors (eg, balance and muscle weakness), we did not compute a summary estimate because the measures used in various studies were not comparable. Conclusions: This meta-analysis provides comprehensive evidence-based assessment of risk factors for falls in older people, confirming their multifactorial etiology. Some nonspecific indicators of high baseline risk were also strong predictors of the risk of falling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-668
Number of pages11
JournalEpidemiology
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

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Independent Living
Meta-Analysis
Odds Ratio
Vertigo
Muscle Weakness
Gait
MEDLINE
Anticonvulsants
Walking
Parkinson Disease
Cause of Death
Prospective Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Deandrea, S., Lucenteforte, E., Bravi, F., Foschi, R., La Vecchia, C., & Negri, E. (2010). Risk factors for falls in community-dwelling older people: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Epidemiology, 21(5), 658-668. https://doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181e89905

Risk factors for falls in community-dwelling older people : A systematic review and meta-analysis. / Deandrea, Silvia; Lucenteforte, Ersilia; Bravi, Francesca; Foschi, Roberto; La Vecchia, Carlo; Negri, Eva.

In: Epidemiology, Vol. 21, No. 5, 09.2010, p. 658-668.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Deandrea, S, Lucenteforte, E, Bravi, F, Foschi, R, La Vecchia, C & Negri, E 2010, 'Risk factors for falls in community-dwelling older people: A systematic review and meta-analysis', Epidemiology, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 658-668. https://doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181e89905
Deandrea, Silvia ; Lucenteforte, Ersilia ; Bravi, Francesca ; Foschi, Roberto ; La Vecchia, Carlo ; Negri, Eva. / Risk factors for falls in community-dwelling older people : A systematic review and meta-analysis. In: Epidemiology. 2010 ; Vol. 21, No. 5. pp. 658-668.
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