Falls, Cognitive Function, and Balance Profiles of Singapore Community-Dwelling Elderly Individuals: Key Risk Factors

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Abstract

Objective:

This study compared occurrence of falls, cognitive function, and balance profiles across participants in elderly age categories, investigating associations between the 3 aspects in a sample of Singapore’s elderly population.

Method:

Community-dwelling elderly individuals (N = 385) were randomly recruited and grouped into “young-old (65-74 years),” “medium-old (75-84 years),” and “oldest-old (above 85 years)” groups. The Fallproof Health and Activity questionnaire, adapted Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and Berg Balance Scale (BBS) tests were used to survey information related to falls, cognition, and balance profiles.

Results:

Findings revealed significant differences in MMSE and BBS scores across the age groups. Participants with mild cognitive impairment (odds ratio [OR] = 1.87, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.08-3.25) and BBS score ≤40 (OR = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.14-0.46) were at the highest risk of falling.

Conclusion:

Community-dwelling elderly individuals with subtle cognitive impairment and BBS scores ≤40 displayed an increased risk of falling.

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