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Res Dev Disabil. 2014 Jun;35(6):1317-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.03.022. Epub 2014 Mar 29.

The predictive value of physical fitness for falls in older adults with intellectual disabilities.

Author information

1
Intellectual Disability Medicine, Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: a.oppewal@erasmusmc.nl.
2
Intellectual Disability Medicine, Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Abrona, Amersfoortseweg 56, 3712 BE Huis ter Heide, The Netherlands.
3
Center for Human Movement Sciences, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.
4
Intellectual Disability Medicine, Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

A high incidence of falls is seen in people with intellectual disabilities (ID), along with poor balance, strength, muscular endurance, and slow gait speed, which are well-established risk factors for falls in the general population. The aim of this study was to assess the predictive value of these physical fitness components for falls in 724 older adults with borderline to profound ID (≥ 50 years). Physical fitness was assessed at baseline and data on falls was collected at baseline and after three years. Gait speed was lowest in participants who fell three times or more at follow-up. Gait speed was the only physical fitness component that significantly predicted falls, but did not remain significant after correcting for confounders. Falls at baseline and not having Down syndrome were significant predictors for falls. Extremely low physical fitness levels of older adults with ID, possible strategies to compensate for these low levels, and the finding that falls did not increase with age may explain the limited predictive value of physical fitness found in this study.

KEYWORDS:

Falls; Intellectual disabilities; Older adults; Physical fitness; Risk factors

PMID:
24691357
DOI:
10.1016/j.ridd.2014.03.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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