Rates and factors associated with falls in older European Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, African-Americans, and Hispanics

Clin Interv Aging. 2015 Oct 23;10:1705-10. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S91120. eCollection 2015.

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate rates and factors associated with older adult falls in different ethnic groups.

Participants and methods: Information on demographics, medical and falls history, and pain and physical activity levels was collected from 550 community-dwelling older adults (75±9 years old, 222 European Americans, 109 Afro-Caribbeans, 106 African-Americans, and 113 Hispanics).

Results: Taking medications for anxiety (risk ratio [RR] =1.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.1-2.0), having incontinence (RR =1.4, 95% CI =1.1-1.8, P=0.013), back pain (RR =1.4, 95% CI =1.0-1.8), feet swelling (RR =1.3, 95% CI =1.1-1.7), and age ≥75 years (RR =1.3, 95% CI =1.0-1.6) were associated with falls. The associations were stronger for Afro-Caribbeans, but they presented approximately 40% lower prevalence of falls than the other groups.

Conclusion: Taking anxiety medication, incontinence, back pain, feet swelling, and age ≥75 years were associated with falls, and Afro-Caribbeans presented lower prevalence of falls. These findings need to be taken into consideration in clinical interventions in aging.

Keywords: community dwelling; ethnicity; falls; older adults; risks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antidepressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Caribbean Region
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Health Status*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / ethnology
  • Prevalence
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data

Substances

  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents