Despite extensive literature on falls among seniors, little is known about gender-specific risk factors. To determine the prevalence of falls by gender and sociodemographic, lifestyle/behavioral, and medical factors, we conducted a cross-sectional study in a nationally representative sample of Canadian adults who were 65 years of age or older (n = 14,881) from the Canadian Community Health Survey-Healthy Aging (2008-2009). Logistic regression models were applied to investigate gender-specific associations between potential risk factors and falls. In men, stroke (odds ratio (OR) = 1.91), nutritional risk (OR = 1.86), post-secondary school degree (OR = 1.68), eye disorder (OR = 1.35), widowed/separated/divorced marital status (OR = 1.28), and arthritis (OR = 1.27) were independently associated with significantly higher odds of falls. In women, significant independent correlates of falls included stroke (OR = 1.53), age of 85 years or older (OR = 1.51), nutritional risk (OR = 1.39), consumption of at least 1 alcoholic drink per week (OR = 1.39), use of 5 or more medications (OR = 1.36), arthritis (OR = 1.36), diabetes (OR = 1.31), and osteoporosis (OR = 1.22). Higher physical activity levels were protective in both genders, and higher household income was protective in women. Gender should be considered when planning fall prevention strategies.
Keywords: Canada; aged; falls; gender; risk factors.
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