Falls and their associated factors: a national survey of the Thai elderly

J Med Assoc Thai. 1998 Apr;81(4):233-42.


Of the 7,713 subjects aged 50 and over in a multistage random sampling national survey of Thailand, 4,480 Thai elders aged 60 and over were interviewed in a study which aimed to determine rate, characteristics and the associated factors of falls in the last six months. Eight hundred and thirty-six elders (18.7%) had one or more falls. Female elders (21.5%) fell more often than their male counterparts (14.4%). There was no association between age and falls among Thai elder population. Most of the falls occurred outside (65%) and during the day time (85%). Multiple regression analysis showed that independent factors associated with falls among male elder were a bad or fairly bad health, reported hypertension, problems with walking in the house, problems with crouching and a lack of electricity in the house. Independent factors associated with falls among female elders were a bad or fairly bad health, joint problems, illness which made her unable to have normal activities during the last year, problems with crouching, going to buy food everyday, very lonely feeling, having less than 3 meals a day, a lack of electricity in the house and living in a Thai style house or hut. This study revealed that environmental and intrinsic health factors which affected balance and gait were the main factors associated with falls among Thai elders. Nutritional status as a contributing factor to falling among elderly women was also suggested.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Thailand / epidemiology