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Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Mar 15;165(6):696-703. Epub 2006 Dec 28.

Incident fall risk and physical activity and physical performance among older men: the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study.

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Department of Endocrinology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 Southwest Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Physical activity and physical performance have been linked to fall risk in the elderly. The authors examined the relation between physical activity and physical performance with incident falls in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study, a large prospective cohort study of 5,995 community-dwelling men in the United States at least 65 years of age. The authors also examined what types of activities are associated with falling. Incident falls between 2000 and 2005 were captured from up to 17 triannual follow-up questionnaires per participant and analyzed with generalized estimating equations. Follow-up averaged 4.5 years. The average risk of falling in the first 4 months of follow-up was 6.6%. The most active quartile had a significantly greater fall risk than did the least active quartile (relative risk = 1.18, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07, 1.29). Men with greater leg power and grip strength had significantly reduced fall risk (for highest leg power quartile vs. lowest: relative risk = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.73, 0.92; for highest grip strength quartile vs. lowest: relative risk = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.69, 0.85). Partitioning components of activity showed no association between fall risk and leisure activities but a positive association with household activities (for highest quartile vs.lowest: relative risk = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.28).

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