Chronic medical conditions and risk of fall injury events at home in older adults

J Am Geriatr Soc. 1997 Jun;45(6):739-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.1997.tb01480.x.


Objective: To evaluate the association between selected chronic medical conditions (CMCs) and fall injury events at home among community-dwelling older persons.

Design: Population-based case-control study.

Setting: The general community.

Participants: Persons aged 65 and older living at home, excluding those using a wheelchair; 467 cases and 691 control subjects were studied.

Measurements: The main independent variables were self-reported histories of 10 CMCs: diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia, heart attack, Parkinson's disease, stroke, emphysema, cancer (other than skin), cataracts, and glaucoma.

Results: The final multivariate model included variables for age, sex, body mass, dependency in activities of daily living, current exercise (three or more times per week), mental status scores, and three CMCs. Persons with a history of stroke or anemia had an increased risk of a fall injury event: for stroke the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) equalled 1.7 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.0-3.0); for anemia the aOR equalled 1.5 (95% CI, 1.0-2.2). Those with a history of high blood pressure had decreased risk (aOR = .7, 95% CI 0.5-0.9).

Conclusions: Persons 65 and older with a self-reported history of anemia or stroke are at increased risk of a fall injury event in the home, whereas those with a self-reported history of high blood pressure are at decreased risk.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries*