Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Age Ageing. 2012 May;41(3):299-308. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afs012. Epub 2012 Feb 27.

The role of cognitive impairment in fall risk among older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

  • 1Division of Geriatric Medicine, The University of Western Ontario, 801 Commissioners Road East, London, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

cognitive impairment is an established fall risk factor; however, it is unclear whether a disease-specific diagnosis (i.e. dementia), measures of global cognition or impairments in specific cognitive domains (i.e. executive function) have the greatest association with fall risk. Our objective was to evaluate the epidemiological evidence linking cognitive impairment and fall risk.

METHODS:

studies were identified through systematic searches of the electronic databases of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PyschINFO (1988-2009). Bibliographies of retrieved articles were also searched. A fixed-effects meta-analysis was performed using an inverse-variance method.

RESULTS:

twenty-seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Impairment on global measures of cognition was associated with any fall, serious injuries (summary estimate of OR = 2.13 (1.56, 2.90)) and distal radius fractures in community-dwelling older adults. Executive function impairment, even subtle deficits in healthy community-dwelling older adults, was associated with an increased risk for any fall (summary estimate of OR = 1.44 (1.20, 1.73)) and falls with serious injury. A diagnosis of dementia, without specification of dementia subtype or disease severity, was associated with risk for any fall but not serious fall injury in institution-dwelling older adults.

CONCLUSION:

the method used to define cognitive impairment and the type of fall outcome are both important when quantifying risk. There is strong evidence global measures of cognition are associated with serious fall-related injury, though there is no consensus on threshold values. Executive function was also associated with increased risk, which supports its inclusion in fall risk assessment especially when global measures are within normal limits.

PMID:
22374645
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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