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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology


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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2013 October;172(10):751-7

language: English

Fall risk characteristics among the community-dwelling elderly with high-risk symptoms in physical function and fear of falling factors

Demura S. 1, Sato S. 2, Mitsumori A. 3, Sato T. 4

1 Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology Kanazawa University, Kakuma Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan;
2 Life-long Sports Core Kanazawa Institute of Technology Nonoichi, Ishikawa, Japan;
3 Japan Agricultural Cooperatives Kanazawa Matsudera, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan;
4 Niigata University of Health and Welfare Kita-ku, Niigata, Japan


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This study classified 1122 community-dwelling elderly Japanese individuals into four groups based on high fall risk symptoms of physical function and fear of falling, and clarified their characteristics of the prevalence rate of falling and competence level for activities of daily living (ADL). Fall risk was assessed by Demura’s fall risk assessment, and participants were classified by the presence or absence of high-risk symptoms of physical function and fear of falling factors. The percentages of each elderly group were 41.3% in the elderly with no high-risk symptom in either factor, 16.7% in those with a fear of falling but no physical function risk, 13% in those with physical function risk but no fear of falling, and 29% in those with high-risk symptoms in both factors. The both risks group showed the highest odds ratio of fall (3.5), calculated by reference to the no-risk group, and the lowest ADL competence. The fear of falling risk group had higher odds ratio (1.8) than the physical function risk group (1.0), although their ADL scores were comparable to the no-risk group. Approximately 30% of participants had high-risk symptoms for both factors. In contrast, inconsistent risk characteristics for these risk factors were identified in approximately 30% of elderly, and their fall experiences and ADL competence showed different trends. A multifactorial fall risk assessment and classification using these results of risk assessment may be important to ensure the appropriate interventions for the community-dwelling elderly.

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