Rates and factors associated with falls in older European Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, African-Americans, and Hispanics

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Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate rates and factors associated with older adult falls in different ethnic groups. Participants and methods: Information on demographics, medical and falls history, and pain and physical activity levels was collected from 550 community-dwelling older adults (75±9 years old, 222 European Americans, 109 Afro-Caribbeans, 106 African-Americans, and 113 Hispanics). Results: Taking medications for anxiety (risk ratio [RR] =1.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.1–2.0), having incontinence (RR =1.4, 95% CI =1.1–1.8, P=0.013), back pain (RR =1.4, 95% CI =1.0–1.8), feet swelling (RR =1.3, 95% CI =1.1–1.7), and age ≥75 years (RR =1.3, 95% CI =1.0–1.6) were associated with falls. The associations were stronger for Afro-Caribbeans, but they presented approximately 40% lower prevalence of falls than the other groups. Conclusion: Taking anxiety medication, incontinence, back pain, feet swelling, and age ≥75 years were associated with falls, and Afro-Caribbeans presented lower prevalence of falls. These findings need to be taken into consideration in clinical interventions in aging.

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Vieira, E. R., Tappen, R., Engstrom, G., & da Costa, B. R. (2015). Rates and factors associated with falls in older European Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, African-Americans, and Hispanics. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 10, 1705–1710. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S91120

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