Risk factors for falls in older Korean adults: the 2011 Community Health Survey

J Korean Med Sci. 2014 Nov;29(11):1482-7. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2014.29.11.1482. Epub 2014 Nov 4.


Falls are a major health problem for elderly populations worldwide. We analyzed data from the 2011 Korean Community Health Survey to identify potential risk factors for falls in a representative population-based sample of community-dwelling older Korean adults. Risk factors for falls were assessed by multivariate survey logistic regression models. The prevalence of falls was 16.9% in males and 24.3% in females [Corrected]. Age and female sex were associated with a higher risk of falls. Similarly, living alone, living in an urban area, poor self-rated health, and high stress were associated with a high risk of falls. Subjects with diabetes mellitus, stroke, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, cataracts, or depression had a high risk of falls. However, subjects with hypertension were at low risk for falls. In conclusion, age, female sex, marital status, residence location, self-rated health, stress, and several chronic conditions were significantly associated with the risk for falls in the older Korean adults. Our findings suggest that these risk factors should be addressed in public health policies for preventing falls.

Keywords: Accidental Falls; Elderly People; Koreans; Risk Factors.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Odds Ratio
  • Republic of Korea
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress, Psychological