Determinants of Falls in Community-Dwelling Elderly: Hierarchical Analysis

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To analyze the fall-related factors in community-dwelling elderly.

Design and Sample:

Epidemiologic cross-sectional population-based household study with hierarchical interrelationships among the potential risk factors. The sample was made up of noninstitutionalized individuals over age 60, who were resident of a city in Brazil's Northeast Region.


The dependent variable was fall occurrence in the last 12 months; independent variables were sociodemographic, behavioral, health, and functional status factors. Multivariate hierarchical Poisson regression analysis was used based on a proposed theoretic model.


Three hundred and sixteen (89.0%) elderly participated of the survey, average age 74.2 years; the majority was female, with limited literacy and had low-medium family income. The fall prevalence was of 25.8%; occurrence was related to depression symptoms (PR = 1.55) and balance limitation (PR = 1.56).


The high fall prevalence among elderly necessitates the identification of fall-related factors for action planning prevention programs with this group.

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