Subcortical vascular lesions predict falls at 12 months in elderly patients discharged from a rehabilitation ward

Fabio Guerini, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Alessandra Marrè, Renato Turco, Giuseppe Bellelli, Marco Trabucchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To test whether subcortical vascular lesions are associated with falls in elderly patients with gait disorder discharged from a rehabilitation ward. Design: Secondary 12-month follow-up analysis of an observational survey focusing on the prevalence of subcortical vascular lesions in a population of elderly patients discharged from rehabilitation hospitals. Setting: A rehabilitation and aged care unit. Participants: Consecutively admitted elderly patients (N=214) with gait disorder. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: On admission, all patients underwent comprehensive geriatric assessment including sociodemographics, cognitive and depressive symptoms, nutritional status, physical health, and functional status. Subcortical vascular lesions were assessed on computed tomography films with a validated rating scale. All patients received a standardized rehabilitative program. Twelve months after discharge, all patients were interviewed by telephone, mainly focusing on the occurrence of falls during the follow-up period. Potential predictors of falls were assessed in univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: Univariate predictors of falls were age, sex, Mini-Mental State Examination, Barthel Index on admission, and subcortical vascular lesions. In multivariate analyses, subcortical vascular lesions were the only significant predictor of risk of falling; patients with moderate and severe subcortical vascular lesions scores had a greater risk of falling (odds ratio [OR]=3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-7.1; P=.012; OR=3.9; 95% CI, 1.6-9.2; P=.002, respectively) than those with no subcortical vascular lesions. Conclusions: Subcortical vascular lesions are associated with falls at 12 months in elderly patients with gait disorder discharged from a rehabilitative ward. Future research is needed to confirm our results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1522-1527
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume89
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

Keywords

  • Accidental falls
  • Elderly
  • Gait
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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