Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMJ. 2003 Sep 27;327(7417):712-7.

Association between falls in elderly women and chronic diseases and drug use: cross sectional study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2PR. d.a.lawlor@bristol.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the associations between having had a fall and chronic diseases and drug use in elderly women.

DESIGN:

Cross sectional survey, using data from the British women's heart and health study.

SETTING:

General practices in 23 towns in Great Britain.

PARTICIPANTS:

4050 women aged 60-79 years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Whether women had had falls in the previous 12 months.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of falling increased with increasing numbers of simultaneously occurring chronic diseases. However, no such relation with falling was found in the fully adjusted data for the number of drugs used. Circulatory disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, and arthritis were all associated with an increased odds of falling. The fully adjusted, population attributable risk of falling associated with having at least one chronic disease was 32.2% (95% confidence interval 19.6% to 42.8%). Only two classes of drugs (hypnotics and anxiolytics, and antidepressants) were independently associated with an increased odds of falling. Each class was associated with an increase of about 50% in the odds of falling, and each had a population attributable risk of < 5%.

CONCLUSION:

Chronic diseases and multiple pathology are more important predictors of falling than polypharmacy.

Comment in

PMID:
14512478
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC200802
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk