September 2021

Fear of Falling Prevalence Among Seniors Varies Widely

In a retrospective, cross-sectional study, researchers from the Division of Geriatrics at the Istanbul Medical School in Turkey wanted to determine the prevalence of fear of falling (FOF) and its associated impact on physical performance, functionality, and sarcopenia, as well as other geriatric syndromes. Among the 1,021 community-dwelling adults recruited, FOF was 44.6% and 37.7% had fallen. Prevalence rates varied with conditions:

  • Sarcopenia positive: 30.1%
  • Probable sacrcopenic: 43.9%
  • Undernutrition: 45.7%
  • Fallers: 51.1%
  • Females: 80.4%
  • Prefrail/frail: 74%

Female sex (Overall Risk[OR]=4.1, P<0.001), anxiety (OR=2.7, P=0.03) and limitations in activities of daily living (OR=2.5, P=0.04) were identified as independent associates of FOF.

The research team concluded that FOF is prevalent in community-dwelling adults, whether or not falls have occurred, and has the ability to increase anxiety and impede activities of daily living.

Source: Bahat Öztürk G, et al. Prevalence and associates of fear of falling among community-dwelling older adults. J Nutr Health Aging. 2021;25:433–439. doi.org/10.1007/s12603-020-1535-9.

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