Falls in older adults after hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 Dec;69(12):3476-3485. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17398. Epub 2021 Aug 12.


Background: After hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), older adults may be at increased risk for falls due to deconditioning, new medications, and worsening health status. Our primary objective was to identify risk factors for falls after AMI hospitalization among adults over age 75.

Methods: We used data from the Comprehensive Evaluation of Risk Factors in Older Patients with AMI (SILVER-AMI) study, a prospective cohort study of 3041 adults age 75 and older hospitalized with AMI at 94 community and academic medical centers across the United States. In-person interviews and physical assessments, as well as medical record review, were performed to collect demographic, clinical, functional, and psychosocial data. Falls were self-reported in telephone interviews and medically serious falls (those associated with emergency department use or hospitalization) were determined by medical record adjudication. Backward selection was used to identify predictors of fall risk in logistic regression analysis.

Results: A total of 554 (21.6%) participants reported a fall and 191 (6.4%) had a medically serious fall within 6 months of discharge. Factors independently associated with self-reported falls included impaired mobility, prior fall history, longer hospital stay, visual impairment, and weak grip. Factors independently associated with medically serious falls included older age, polypharmacy, impaired functional mobility, prior fall history, and living alone.

Conclusions: Among older patients hospitalized for AMI, falls are common in the 6 months following discharge and associated with demographic, functional, and clinical factors that are readily identifiable. Fall risk should be considered in post-AMI clinical decision-making and interventions to prevent falls should be evaluated.

Keywords: acute myocardial infarction; falls; functional impairments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United States