Longitudinal Association Between Subjective Fatigue and Future Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: The Locomotive Syndrome and Health Outcomes in the Aizu Cohort Study (LOHAS)

J Aging Health. 2019 Jan;31(1):67-84. doi: 10.1177/0898264317721825. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


Objective: We examined the longitudinal association between the severity of fatigue and falls in community-dwelling older adults.

Method: Subjective fatigue was assessed using the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) Vitality subscale and classified into four categories by quartile (mildest, mild, moderate, severe). The main outcome was the incidence of any falls during the 2-year follow-up period.

Results: Of the 751 participants, 236 (31.4%) experienced falls during the 2-year period. In multivariable logistic regression analysis with adjustment for possible confounding factors, the adjusted odds ratios (and 95% confidence intervals) for mild, moderate, and severe categories (vs. mildest category) of 1.60 (0.94-2.75), 1.87 (1.12-3.11), and 2.15 (1.23-3.76), respectively ( p for trend = .007).

Discussion: Our results suggest that the severity of fatigue is associated with the risk of subsequent falls for community-dwelling older adults even after adjustment for possible confounding factors.

Keywords: fall; fatigue; older adults; population-based study.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation*
  • Fatigue* / diagnosis
  • Fatigue* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Independent Living / psychology
  • Independent Living / statistics & numerical data
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment