Risk factors for high fall risk in elderly patients with chronic kidney disease

Int Urol Nephrol. 2022 Feb;54(2):349-356. doi: 10.1007/s11255-021-02884-w. Epub 2021 May 8.


Purpose: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) usually represent an aging population, and both older age and CKD are associated with a higher risk of falling. Studies on risk factors among subjects with CKD are lacking.

Methods: Records of outpatients from one geriatric clinic in Turkey were retrospectively reviewed. A result of ≥ 13.5 s on the timed up and go (TUG) test was accepted as a high risk of falls. Independent predictors of an increased risk of falls among subjects with CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate of < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) were identified using logistic regression models.

Results: Patients with CKD (n = 205), represented the 20.2% of the entire cohort and was identified as an independent predictor of increased fall risk (OR 2.59). Within the CKD cohort, serum folic acid levels and frailty were independent predictors of an increased risk of falls. The CKD/fall risk group was older, had a lower median years of education, lower vitamin D levels, and lower serum folic acid levels than the CKD/non-fall risk group. In addition to higher serum creatinine and potassium levels, the only significant difference between patients with CKD/fall risk and a matched non-CKD/fall risk was a lower median folic acid level in the former group.

Conclusions: Frailty and low folic acid levels are independently associated with an increased risk of falls among elderly outpatients with CKD. Prevention of frailty may reduce the risk of falls in these subjects. Possible benefit of folic acid supplementation requires further studies.

Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Fall; Folic acid; Gait.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors