Walking and talking as predictors of falls in the general population: The Leiden 85-plus study

  • Bootsma-van der Wiel A
  • Gussekloo J
  • De Craen A
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVES: To compare the value of dual tasking in predicting falling in the general population of oldest old with that of easy-to-administer single tasks. DESIGN: Prospective population-based follow-up study. SETTING: Municipality of Leiden, the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: Representative cohort of 380 individuals, all aged 85 at baseline. MEASUREMENTS: During enrollment, walking time over a 12-meter distance was measured, as well as the verbal fluency to recite names of animals or professions during a 30-second period. In the dual task, performance was assessed when participants combined walking with reciting names. Incidence of falls and fractures was assessed by interviewing participants and checking their medical histories. RESULTS: After 1 year of follow-up, 42% of the participants reported one or more falls, and 4% suffered a fracture. Total walking time, number of steps, and verbal fluency were all strongly related to incident falls (P for trend for all

Author-supplied keywords

  • Elderly
  • Falling
  • General population
  • Preventive

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  • Annetje Bootsma-van der Wiel

  • Jacobijn Gussekloo

  • Anton J M De Craen

  • Eric Van Exel

  • Rudi G J Westendorp

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