To evaluate the incidence of unexplained falls in elderly patients affected by fall-related fractures admitted to orthopaedic wards, we recruited 246 consecutive patients older than 65 (mean age 82 ± 7 years, range 65-101). Falls were defined "accidental" (fall explained by a definite accidental cause), "medical" (fall caused directly by a specific medical disease), "dementia-related" (fall in patients affected by moderate-severe dementia), and "unexplained" (nonaccidental falls, not related to a clear medical or drug-induced cause or with no apparent cause). According to the anamnestic features of the event, older patients had a lower tendency to remember the fall. Patients with accidental fall remember more often the event. Unexplained falls were frequent in both groups of age. Accidental falls were more frequent in younger patients, while dementia-related falls were more common in the older ones. Patients with unexplained falls showed a higher number of depressive symptoms. In a multivariate analysis a higher GDS and syncopal spells were independent predictors of unexplained falls. In conclusion, more than one third of all falls in patients hospitalized in orthopaedic wards were unexplained, particularly in patients with depressive symptoms and syncopal spells. The identification of fall causes must be evaluated in older patients with a fall-related injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology