Relationship between Falling and Chronic Diseases in the Elderly: A Study Derived from Amirkola Health and Ageing Project.
Doctor of Medicine, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran
Background: Chronic diseases and falling are important health issues among elderly people since they are able to reduce the quality of their lives.
Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between chronic diseases and falling in the elderly.
Methods: The present cross-sectional study was derived from the first phase of the Amirkola Health and Ageing Project (AHAP) that had been performed on all elderly people aged 60 and above in Amirkola city in the northern part of Iran. The demographic characteristics, including chronic diseases, were collected through self-report questionnaires and observation of their prescriptions and consumed medications. Moreover, the history of falling during the previous 12 months was obtained through the information form and interview with the subjects.
Results: In total, 883 males (54.6%) and 733 females (45.3%) were studied whose mean age was 69.37±7.42 (70±7.7 and 69.7±7.00 in males and females, respectively). In this study, 288 (17.8%) of the participants had the experience of falling in the last 12 months. The prevalence of falling was higher in elderly females (P<0.001) and the subjects who lived alone (P=0.01). Furthermore, it was found that the prevalence of falling in the elderly had a significant relationship with other diseases, namely osteoporosis (P<0.001), myocardial infarction (P=0.03), fractures (P<0.001), cognitive impairment (P=0.001), and headache (P=0.002). In addition, the results of logistic regression showed that the prevalence of falling had an association with urinary incontinence (P=0.02), history of fracture (P=0.001), hearing loss (P=0.006), and depression symptoms (P=0.001).
Conclusion: According to the results, there was a significant prevalence of falling among the subjects which had a direct relationship with some chronic diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to ask related questions from the elderly who refer to the health centers a nd be more careful about them.
Keywords: Chronic disease, Elderly, Falling