Preventing and Managing Falls in Adults With Cardiovascular Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association

Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2022 Jun;15(6):e000108. doi: 10.1161/HCQ.0000000000000108. Epub 2022 May 19.


Falls and fear of falling are a major health issue and associated with high injury rates, high medical care costs, and significant negative impact on quality of life. Adults with cardiovascular disease are at high risk of falling. However, the prevalence and specific risks for falls among adults with cardiovascular disease are not well understood, and falls are likely underestimated in clinical practice. Data from surveys of patient-reported and medical record-based analyses identify falls or risks for falling in 40% to 60% of adults with cardiovascular disease. Increased fall risk is associated with medications, structural heart disease, orthostatic hypotension, and arrhythmias, as well as with abnormal gait and balance, physical frailty, sensory impairment, and environmental hazards. These risks are particularly important among the growing population of older adults with cardiovascular disease. All clinicians who care for patients with cardiovascular disease have the opportunity to recognize falls and to mitigate risks for falling. This scientific statement provides consensus on the interdisciplinary evaluation, prevention, and management of falls among adults with cardiac disease and the management of cardiovascular care when patients are at risk of falling. We outline research that is needed to clarify prevalence and factors associated with falls and to identify interventions that will prevent falls among adults with cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: AHA Scientific Statements; accidental falls; age-friendly; aged; cardiovascular diseases; falls.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • American Heart Association*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Fear
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors