Factors associated with falls in the elderly: a community study

Age Ageing. 1981 Aug;10(3):141-6. doi: 10.1093/ageing/10.3.141.


In 2793 respondents aged 65 and over in a survey of a geographically defined community, who were asked about falls in the preceding twelve months, the estimated annual prevalence rate (persons) of falls was 28.0%. Standardized for age, the rate was twice as high in women as in men. Rates increased with age but more steeply in men than in women. Compared with non-fallers, fallers had been in more recent contact with their general practitioner, showed higher prevalence of problems with mobility and daily living, a more frequent history of stroke and heart disease, and had more episodes of non-rotatory vertigo, double vision, faints and blackouts and episodes of weakness or numbness. Fallers also showed more frequent evidence suggestive of cognitive impairment. More fallers than non-fallers were taking diuretics and tranquilizers and these associations merit further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications
  • Data Collection
  • Dizziness / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Locomotion
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*