Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Prev Med. 2016 Jun;87:41-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.02.023. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

The influence of multiple sensory impairments on functional balance and difficulty with falls among U.S. adults.

Author information

1
Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS. 38677, United States.
2
Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS. 38677, United States. Electronic address: pdloprin@olemiss.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Studies have looked at the individual associations of sensory impairment on balance, but no population-based studies have examined their combined association on balance and difficulty with falls. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine both the independent associations and combined associations of visual impairment, peripheral neuropathy, and self-reported hearing loss with the odds of reporting difficulty with falls and functional balance.

METHODS:

Data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used. Vision and peripheral neuropathy were objectively measured, and hearing was self-reported. Balance testing consisted of a modified Romberg test. After exclusions, 1662 (40-85years of age) participants provided complete data on the study variables.

RESULTS:

Sensory impairment was associated with perceived difficulty of falls and functional balance. Participants who presented a single sensory impairment had 29% reduced odds of having functional balance (95% CI=0.54-0.93, p=0.01) and increased odds of reporting difficulty with falls by 61% (95% CI=0.99-2.60, p=0.05). Moreover, our multisensory models showed some evidence of a dose-response relationship, in that sensory impairment of multiple sensory systems was associated with worse balance (OR =0.59, CI=0.35-1.00, p=0.05) and perceived difficulty of falls (OR =5.02, 95% CI=1.99-12.66, p=0.002) when compared to those with less sensory impairment.

CONCLUSION:

Multiple sensory impairment is associated with significantly higher odds of both reporting difficulty with falls and balance dysfunction, which may lead to a subsequent fall, ultimately compromising the individual's health.

KEYWORDS:

Hearing; NHANES; Neuropathy; Postural control; Vision

PMID:
26896633
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.02.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center