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Prev Med. 2013 Nov;57(5):511-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.07.012. Epub 2013 Jul 16.

Risk factors for single and recurrent falls: a prospective study of falls in community dwelling seniors without cognitive impairment.

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Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, 5F, No. 17, Hsu-Chow Rd., Taipei City 100, Taiwan; Department of Family Medicine, Renai Branch, Taipei City Hospital, 10F, No. 10, Sec. 4, Ren-Ai Rd., Taipei City 106, Taiwan. Electronic address:



The purpose of this study is to contribute evidence towards heterogeneity in risk factors for single and recurrent falls.


This is a prospective study conducted in Taiwan. Participants were randomly selected from the examinees of the annual health examination in 2010. Participants were interviewed with a detailed questionnaire and followed up one year later. Predictor variables included socio-demographic characteristics, medical conditions, laboratory data, and risk factors for osteoporosis. The outcome was falls in the ensuing 12 months.


The mean age of the 653 completers was 75.6 ± 6.4. Half (48.7%) were women. Fallers and recurrent fallers comprised 14.5% and 6.0% of the participants, respectively. Blurred vision (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.93, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-3.67), minimal outdoor activities (aOR: 2.28, 95% CI: 1.06-4.88), and overactive thyroid/parathyroid (aOR: 3.49, 95% CI: 1.29-9.50) were associated with single falls. Frailty (aOR: 2.81, 95% CI: 1.11-7.09), decreased body height (aOR: 3.15, 95% CI: 1.52-6.54) and taking sedatives/hypnotics (aOR: 4.23, 95% CI: 2.06-8.67) were associated with recurrent falls. Previous falls (aOR: 2.64, 95% CI: 1.44-4.84 for single falls; aOR: 5.26, 95% CI: 2.61-10.60 for recurrent falls) were associated with all falls.


Different intervention strategies should be developed for single and recurrent fallers.


Aged; Falls; Risk factors

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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