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Sleep Med. 2013 Dec;14(12):1356-63. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2013.09.004. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Association between sleep disturbances and falls among the elderly: results from the German Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg-Age study.

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Institute of Epidemiology II, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany. Electronic address:



We aimed to examine the association between various sleep disturbances and falls among older individuals from the general population while considering the influence of age and dizziness.


Data were derived from the population-based cross-sectional KORA (Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg)-Age study, whereby information was conducted in standardized telephone interviews with 4127 men and women aged ⩾65years in 2008 and 2009. Unstratified and stratified (by age and dizziness) multivariable logistic regression model analyses were performed.


The multivariable analysis showed a marginally significant association between trouble staying asleep and ⩾1 fall in the previous year (odds ratio [OR], 1.23 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01-1.50]). This association was more pronounced in participants older than the age of 75years (OR, 1.58 [95% CI, 1.16-2.16]) and in individuals without dizziness (OR, 1.35 [95% CI, 1.04-1.76]). There was no association between daytime sleepiness and falls in the fully-adjusted models, but the odds of falls in the previous year in individuals older than the age of 75years were significantly higher for individuals with difficulty falling asleep. Although sleep duration was not associated with falls in multivariable analyses when stratified by dizziness, sleep duration of 9h daily was significantly associated with higher odds of experiencing at least one fall in the previous year.


Our study suggested that the positive relationship between a trend towards longer sleep duration, trouble falling and staying asleep, and falls is strongest in older individuals and in individuals who did not experience dizziness in the previous year.


Comorbidities; Elderly; Falls; Insomnia; Older adults; Sleep; Sleep disorders

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