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Cad Saude Publica. 2011 Sep;27(9):1819-26.

Prevalence of falls in elderly in Brazil: a countrywide analysis.

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Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brasil.


We conducted a cross-sectional study of a sample of 6,616 elderly living in urban areas of 100 municipalities in 23 Brazilian states, who responded to questions on the occurrence of falls in the 12 months prior to the interview, and occurrence of fractures due to the falls. The prevalence of falls among the elderly was 27.6% (95%CI: 26.5-28.7). Among those reporting falls, 11% had suffered fractures as a result. Of the elderly, 36% had received guidance about the precautions necessary to prevent falls, and about 1% had required surgery. Falls were associated with female gender, older age, low socioeconomic status, obesity and sedentary lifestyles. The prevalence of falls differed significantly between the North and other regions of Brazil. The study shows a high prevalence of falls, and underlines the need for preventive strategies targeting modifiable risk factors.

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