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1.  Randomized controlled trial of a primary care–based screening program to identify older women with prevalent osteoporotic vertebral fractures: Cohort for skeletal health in Bristol and Avon (COSHIBA) 
Approximately 12% of postmenopausal women have osteoporotic vertebral fractures (VFs); these are associated with excess morbidity and mortality and a high risk of future osteoporotic fractures. Despite this, less than one-third come to clinical attention, partly due to lack of clear clinical triggers for referral for spinal radiographs. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a novel primary care–based screening tool could be used to identify postmenopausal women with osteoporotic VFs and increase appropriate management of osteoporosis. A randomized controlled trial was undertaken in 15 general practices within the Bristol area of the UK. A total of 3200 women aged 65 to 80 years were enrolled, with no exclusion criteria. A simple screening tool was carried out by a nurse in primary care to identify women at high risk of osteoporotic VFs. All identified high-risk women were offered a diagnostic thoracolumbar radiograph. Radiographs were reported using standard National Health Service (NHS) reporting, with results sent back to each participant's general practitioner (GP). Participants in the control arm did not receive the screening tool or radiographs. The main outcome measure was self-reported prescription of medication for osteoporosis at 6 months with a random 5% subsample verified against electronic GP records. Secondary outcome was self-reported incidence of new fractures. Results showed that allocation to screening increased prescription of osteoporosis medications by 124% (odds ratio [OR] for prescription 2.24 at 6 months; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16 to 4.33). Allocation to screening also reduced fracture incidence at 12-month follow-up (OR for new fracture 0.60; 95% CI, 0.35–1.03; p = 0.063), although this did not reach statistical significance. This study supports the use of a simple screening tool administered in primary care to increase appropriate prescription of medications for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women in the UK. © 2012 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
doi:10.1002/jbmr.1478
PMCID: PMC3378696  PMID: 22113935
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL; SCREENING; VERTEBRAL FRACTURES
2.  School Playground Surfacing and Arm Fractures in Children: A Cluster Randomized Trial Comparing Sand to Wood Chip Surfaces 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(12):e1000195.
In a randomized trial of elementary schools in Toronto, Andrew Howard and colleagues show that granitic sand playground surfaces reduce the risk of arm fractures from playground falls when compared with wood fiber surfaces.
Background
The risk of playground injuries, especially fractures, is prevalent in children, and can result in emergency room treatment and hospital admissions. Fall height and surface area are major determinants of playground fall injury risk. The primary objective was to determine if there was a difference in playground upper extremity fracture rates in school playgrounds with wood fibre surfacing versus granite sand surfacing. Secondary objectives were to determine if there were differences in overall playground injury rates or in head injury rates in school playgrounds with wood fibre surfacing compared to school playgrounds with granite sand surfacing.
Methods and Findings
The cluster randomized trial comprised 37 elementary schools in the Toronto District School Board in Toronto, Canada with a total of 15,074 students. Each school received qualified funding for installation of new playground equipment and surfacing. The risk of arm fracture from playground falls onto granitic sand versus onto engineered wood fibre surfaces was compared, with an outcome measure of estimated arm fracture rate per 100,000 student-months. Schools were randomly assigned by computer generated list to receive either a granitic sand or an engineered wood fibre playground surface (Fibar), and were not blinded. Schools were visited to ascertain details of the playground and surface actually installed and to observe the exposure to play and to periodically monitor the depth of the surfacing material. Injury data, including details of circumstance and diagnosis, were collected at each school by a prospective surveillance system with confirmation of injury details through a validated telephone interview with parents and also through collection (with consent) of medical reports regarding treated injuries. All schools were recruited together at the beginning of the trial, which is now closed after 2.5 years of injury data collection. Compliant schools included 12 schools randomized to Fibar that installed Fibar and seven schools randomized to sand that installed sand. Noncompliant schools were added to the analysis to complete a cohort type analysis by treatment received (two schools that were randomized to Fibar but installed sand and seven schools that were randomized to sand but installed Fibar). Among compliant schools, an arm fracture rate of 1.9 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.04–6.9) per 100,000 student-months was observed for falls into sand, compared with an arm fracture rate of 9.4 (95% CI 3.7–21.4) for falls onto Fibar surfaces (p≤0.04905). Among all schools, the arm fracture rate was 4.5 (95% CI 0.26–15.9) per 100,000 student-months for falls into sand compared with 12.9 (95% CI 5.1–30.1) for falls onto Fibar surfaces. No serious head injuries and no fatalities were observed in either group.
Conclusions
Granitic sand playground surfaces reduce the risk of arm fractures from playground falls when compared with engineered wood fibre surfaces. Upgrading playground surfacing standards to reflect this information will prevent arm fractures.
Trial Registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN02647424
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Playgrounds and outdoor play equipment provide children with a place to let steam off, play creatively, socialize, and learn new skills. And, in a world where childhood obesity is a burgeoning problem, playgrounds provide a place where children can be encouraged to exercise. But playgrounds are not without hazards. Even in well-maintained and well-run facilities, children can hurt themselves by falling off climbing frames, monkey bars, and other equipment or by falling from standing height during playground games such as tag. In the US alone, more than 200,000 children are treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in playgrounds every year and about 6,400 children are admitted to hospitals because of playground injuries, most of which are bone fractures (broken bones). In fact, playground injuries in the US are more severe and have a higher hospital admission rate than any other sort of child injury except those involving vehicles.
Why Was This Study Done?
Children who fall off playground equipment are nearly four times as likely to break a bone (often in an arm) as children who fall from standing height. To reduce the number of fractures that occur in playgrounds, some governments have limited the height of playground equipment. Some have also set standards for the type of surfaces installed in playgrounds and for the depth of sand or engineered wood fiber in loose fill surfaces. These standards are based on laboratory tests in which headforms (artificial heads) are dropped onto surfaces. However, these tests provide no information about the ability of different surfaces to prevent broken arms and other specific injuries in the real world. In this cluster randomized trial (a study in which groups of people are randomly assigned to receive different interventions), the researchers compare the rates of arm fractures in elementary (primary) school playgrounds in Toronto (Canada) that have wood fiber surfacing with the rates in playgrounds that have granite sand surfacing.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly assigned 37 elementary schools that had qualified for school board funding for replacement playground equipment to receive either wood fiber (19 schools) or granite sand surfacing (18 schools) in their playgrounds. 19 of the schools complied with their randomization (12 installed fiber and seven installed sand); two schools installed sand although they were randomized to install fiber and seven schools installed fiber instead of sand. The researchers evaluated the playgrounds and their surfaces several times during the 2.5-year study and collected data on how playground injuries happened and types of injuries from the schools, parents, and medical reports. Among the schools that complied with randomization, falls from height into sand resulted in 1.9 arm fractures per 100,000 student-months whereas falls into fiber resulted in 9.4 arm fractures per 100,000 student-months. Arm fracture rates and other injury rates were also higher for falls from height into fiber than into sand when all the schools that had installed new surfaces were considered. However, the rates of arm fracture and other injuries that did not involve a fall from height did not vary between surfaces.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The accuracy of these findings is limited by the small number of arm fractures that occurred during the trial—only 20 children who fell into fiber and two who fell into sand broke an arm. The accuracy of the findings may also be limited by the failure of many schools to comply with randomization although the researchers found no obvious differences between the schools that did and did not comply with randomization that might have affected the trial's outcome. However, even with these limitations, the findings of this real-world study indicate that granitic sand surfaces substantially reduce the risk of arm fractures and other injuries caused by falls from playground equipment when compared with wood fiber surfaces. Thus, because falls from playground equipment are more likely to cause a fracture than falls from standing height, if playground surfacing standards are adjusted to reflect the findings of this study (that is, if sand surfaces are recommended in preference to wood fiber surfaces), many arm fractures in children should be prevented.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at ttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000195.
Safe Kids Canada provides information about playground safety and other aspects of childhood safety (in English and French)
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury (in English and Spanish)
The Nemours Foundation, a nonprofit organization for child health, provides information for parents on playground safety
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents provides information on the safety of indoor and outdoor play areas
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides fact sheets on playground injuries
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission also has information on playground safety, including resources designed for children such as The Further Adventures of Kidd Safety and Little Big Kids, a booklet on play safety written by children for children
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000195
PMCID: PMC2784292  PMID: 20016688
3.  Hip Fracture Incidence in Relation to Age, Menopausal Status, and Age at Menopause: Prospective Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(11):e1000181.
Using data from the UK Million Women Study, Emily Banks and colleagues investigate the relationships between the incidence of hip fracture and a woman's age, menopausal status, and age at menopause.
Background
Bone mineral density is known to decrease rapidly after the menopause. There is limited evidence about the separate contributions of a woman's age, menopausal status and age at menopause to the incidence of hip fracture.
Methods and Findings
Over one million middle-aged women joined the UK Million Women Study in 1996–2001 providing information on their menopausal status, age at menopause, and other factors, which was updated, where possible, 3 y later. All women were registered with the UK National Health Service (NHS) and were routinely linked to information on cause-specific admissions to NHS hospitals. 561,609 women who had never used hormone replacement therapy and who provided complete information on menopausal variables (at baseline 25% were pre/perimenopausal and 75% postmenopausal) were followed up for a total of 3.4 million woman-years (an average 6.2 y per woman). During follow-up 1,676 (0.3%) were admitted to hospital with a first incident hip fracture. Among women aged 50–54 y the relative risk (RR) of hip fracture risk was significantly higher in postmenopausal than premenopausal women (adjusted RR 2.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.22–4.04; p = 0.009); there were too few premenopausal women aged 55 y and over for valid comparisons. Among postmenopausal women, hip fracture incidence increased steeply with age (p<0.001), with rates being about seven times higher at age 70–74 y than at 50–54 y (incidence rates of 0.82 versus 0.11 per 100 women over 5 y). Among postmenopausal women of a given age there was no significant difference in hip fracture incidence between women whose menopause was due to bilateral oophorectomy compared to a natural menopause (adjusted RR 1.20, 95% CI 0.94–1.55; p = 0.15), and age at menopause had little, if any, effect on hip fracture incidence.
Conclusions
At around the time of the menopause, hip fracture incidence is about twice as high in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women, but this effect is short lived. Among postmenopausal women, age is by far the main determinant of hip fracture incidence and, for women of a given age, their age at menopause has, at most, a weak additional effect.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Anyone can break a hip but most hip fractures occur in elderly people. As people age, their bones gradually lose minerals and become less dense, which weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture. Because women lose bone density faster than men as they age and because women constitute the majority of the elderly, three-quarters of hip fractures occur in women. Hip fractures can cause long-term health problems and premature death. Thus, although surgical repair of a broken hip usually only requires a hospital stay of about a week, a quarter of elderly people who were living independently before their fracture have to stay in a nursing home for at least a year after their injury and a fifth of elderly people who break a hip die within the year. Most hip fractures are caused by falls. Regular exercise to improve strength and balance combined with review of medicines (to reduce side effects and interactions), regular eye examinations, and the removal of fall hazards from the home can help to prevent hip fractures in elderly people.
Why Was This Study Done?
Bone density decreases very rapidly in women immediately after menopause—the time when menstruation permanently stops—and then continues to decrease more slowly with age. Most women have their menopause in their early 50s but menopause can occur in younger women. Early menopause is thought to be a risk factor for osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and fractures later in life but little is known about how menopause influences hip fracture risk as women age. In this prospective study (a type of study in which a group of people is followed for several years to see whether they develop a particular condition), the researchers investigate the incidence of hip fractures in relation to age, menopausal status, and age at menopause among the participants of the Million Women Study. This study, which recruited 1.3 million women aged 50–64 years who attended UK breast cancer screening clinics between 1996 and 2001, has been investigating how reproductive and lifestyle factors affect women's health.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
At enrollment and three years later, the study participants provided information about their menopausal status and other health and lifestyle factors likely to affect their fracture risk. From these data, the researchers identified more than half a million women who had never used hormone replacement therapy (which reduces fracture risk) and who had given complete information about their menopausal status. They then looked for statistical associations between the occurrence of a first hip fracture in these women over the next few years and their age, menopausal status, and age at menopause. Among women aged 50–54 years, postmenopausal women were twice as likely to have a hip fracture as premenopausal women. Among postmenopausal women, the incidence of hip fractures increased steeply with age and was seven times higher in 70–74-year olds than in 50–54-year olds. Women who had their menopause before age 45 had a slightly increased risk of hip fracture but any effect of age at menopause on the risk of hip fracture was small compared to the effect of age itself, and the slightly increased risk may have been due to other factors that could not be fully accounted for in the analysis.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that around the time of menopause, although hip fractures are rare, the risk of a fracture in postmenopausal women is twice that in premenopausal women. The findings also show that among postmenopausal women, age is the major determinant of hip fracture risk and that for women of a given age, their age at menopause has little effect on hip fracture risk. Women attending breast cancer screening clinics and completing questionnaires about their health may not be representative of the general population. Furthermore, these findings rely on women self-reporting their menopausal status accurately. Nevertheless, the results of this study suggest that clinicians advising women about hip fracture prevention should probably base their advice on the woman's age and on age-related factors such as frailty rather than on factors related to menopause. Clinicians can also now reassure elderly women who had an early menopause that their risk of hip fracture is unlikely to be higher than that of similar women who had a later menopause.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000181.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has detailed information about hip fractures
The US National Institute of Arthritis and Muscoloskeletal and Skin Diseases has an interactive feature called “Check up on your bones and provides detailed information about osteoporosis, including advice on fall prevention
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a fact sheet about hip fractures among older adults
MedlinePlus has links to resources about hip fracture, osteoporosis, and menopause (in English and Spanish)
More information on the Million Women Study is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000181
PMCID: PMC2766835  PMID: 19901981
4.  Prevention of Falls and Fall-Related Injuries in Community-Dwelling Seniors 
Executive Summary
In early August 2007, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Aging in the Community project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding healthy aging in the community. The Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the ministry’s newly released Aging at Home Strategy.
After a broad literature review and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified 4 key areas that strongly predict an elderly person’s transition from independent community living to a long-term care home. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these 4 areas: falls and fall-related injuries, urinary incontinence, dementia, and social isolation. For the first area, falls and fall-related injuries, an economic model is described in a separate report.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html, to review these titles within the Aging in the Community series.
Aging in the Community: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Prevention of Falls and Fall-Related Injuries in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Caregiver- and Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Social Isolation in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
The Falls/Fractures Economic Model in Ontario Residents Aged 65 Years and Over (FEMOR)
Objective
To identify interventions that may be effective in reducing the probability of an elderly person’s falling and/or sustaining a fall-related injury.
Background
Although estimates of fall rates vary widely based on the location, age, and living arrangements of the elderly population, it is estimated that each year approximately 30% of community-dwelling individuals aged 65 and older, and 50% of those aged 85 and older will fall. Of those individuals who fall, 12% to 42% will have a fall-related injury.
Several meta-analyses and cohort studies have identified falls and fall-related injuries as a strong predictor of admission to a long-term care (LTC) home. It has been shown that the risk of LTC home admission is over 5 times higher in seniors who experienced 2 or more falls without injury, and over 10 times higher in seniors who experienced a fall causing serious injury.
Falls result from the interaction of a variety of risk factors that can be both intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic factors are those that pertain to the physical, demographic, and health status of the individual, while extrinsic factors relate to the physical and socio-economic environment. Intrinsic risk factors can be further grouped into psychosocial/demographic risks, medical risks, risks associated with activity level and dependence, and medication risks. Commonly described extrinsic risks are tripping hazards, balance and slip hazards, and vision hazards.
Note: It is recognized that the terms “senior” and “elderly” carry a range of meanings for different audiences; this report generally uses the former, but the terms are treated here as essentially interchangeable.
Evidence-Based Analysis of Effectiveness
Research Question
Since many risk factors for falls are modifiable, what interventions (devices, systems, programs) exist that reduce the risk of falls and/or fall-related injuries for community-dwelling seniors?
Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria
Inclusion Criteria
English language;
published between January 2000 and September 2007;
population of community-dwelling seniors (majority aged 65+); and
randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-experimental trials, systematic reviews, or meta-analyses.
Exclusion Criteria
special populations (e.g., stroke or osteoporosis; however, studies restricted only to women were included);
studies only reporting surrogate outcomes; or
studies whose outcome cannot be extracted for meta-analysis.
Outcomes of Interest
number of fallers, and
number of falls resulting in injury/fracture.
Search Strategy
A search was performed in OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), The Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published between January 2000 and September 2007. Furthermore, all studies included in a 2003 Cochrane review were considered for inclusion in this analysis. Abstracts were reviewed by a single author, and studies meeting the inclusion criteria outlined above were obtained. Studies were grouped based on intervention type, and data on population characteristics, fall outcomes, and study design were extracted. Reference lists were also checked for relevant studies. The quality of the evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE methodology.
Summary of Findings
The following 11 interventions were identified in the literature search: exercise programs, vision assessment and referral, cataract surgery, environmental modifications, vitamin D supplementation, vitamin D plus calcium supplementation, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), medication withdrawal, gait-stabilizing devices, hip protectors, and multifactorial interventions.
Exercise programs were stratified into targeted programs where the exercise routine was tailored to the individuals’ needs, and untargeted programs that were identical among subjects. Furthermore, analyses were stratified by exercise program duration (<6 months and ≥6 months) and fall risk of study participants. Similarly, the analyses on the environmental modification studies were stratified by risk. Low-risk study participants had had no fall in the year prior to study entry, while high-risk participants had had at least one fall in the previous year.
A total of 17 studies investigating multifactorial interventions were identified in the literature search. Of these studies, 10 reported results for a high-risk population with previous falls, while 6 reported results for study participants representative of the general population. One study provided stratified results by fall risk, and therefore results from this study were included in each stratified analysis.
Summary of Meta-Analyses of Studies Investigating the Effectiveness of Interventions on the Risk of Falls in Community-Dwelling Seniors*
CI refers to confidence interval; RR, relative risk.
Hazard ratio is reported, because RR was not available.
Summary of Meta-Analyses of Studies Investigating the Effectiveness of Interventions on the Risk of Fall-Related Injuries in Community-Dwelling Seniors*
CI refers to confidence interval; RR, relative risk.
Odds ratio is reported, because RR was not available.
Conclusions
High-quality evidence indicates that long-term exercise programs in mobile seniors and environmental modifications in the homes of frail elderly persons will effectively reduce falls and possibly fall-related injuries in Ontario’s elderly population.
A combination of vitamin D and calcium supplementation in elderly women will help reduce the risk of falls by more than 40%.
The use of outdoor gait-stabilizing devices for mobile seniors during the winter in Ontario may reduce falls and fall-related injuries; however, evidence is limited and more research is required in this area.
While psychotropic medication withdrawal may be an effective method for reducing falls, evidence is limited and long-term compliance has been demonstrated to be difficult to achieve.
Multifactorial interventions in high-risk populations may be effective; however, the effect is only marginally significant, and the quality of evidence is low.
PMCID: PMC3377567  PMID: 23074507
5.  Lifestyle predicts falls independent of physical risk factors 
Osteoporosis International  2009;20(12):2025-2034.
Summary
Many falls occur among older adults with no traditional risk factors. We examined potential independent effects of lifestyle on fall risk. Not smoking and going outdoors frequently or infrequently were independently associated with more falls, indicating lifestyle-related behavioral and environmental risk factors are important causes of falls in older women.
Introduction
Physical and lifestyle risk factors for falls and population attributable risks (PAR) were examined.
Methods
We conducted a 4-year prospective study of 8,378 community-dwelling women (mean age = 71 years, SD = 3) enrolled in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Data on number of falls were self-reported every 4 months. Fall rates were calculated (# falls/woman-years). Poisson regression was used to estimate relative risks (RR).
Results
Physical risk factors (p ≤ 0.05 for all) included tall height (RR = 0.89 per 5 in.), dizziness (RR = 1.16), fear of falling (RR = 1.20), self-reported health decline (RR = 1.19), difficulty with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) (RR = 1.12, per item), fast usual-paced walking speed (RR = 1.18, per 2 SD), and use of antidepressants (RR = 1.20), benzodiazepines (RR = 1.11), or anticonvulsants (RR = 1.62). Protective physical factors (p ≤ 0.05 for all) included good visual acuity (RR = 0.87, per 2 SD) and good balance (RR = 0.85 vs. poor). Lifestyle predicted fewer falls including current smoking (RR = 0.76), going outdoors at least twice weekly but not more than once a day (RR = 0.89 and vs. twice daily). High physical activity was associated with more falls but only among IADL impaired women. Five potentially modifiable physical risk factors had PAR ≥ 5%.
Conclusions
Fall interventions addressing modifiable physical risk factors with PAR ≥ 5% while considering environmental/behavioral risk factors are indicated.
doi:10.1007/s00198-009-0909-y
PMCID: PMC2777208  PMID: 19319617
Behavioral risk factors; Fall rates; Falls; Lifestyle; Physical risk factors; Risk factors
6.  Falls in advanced old age: recalled falls and prospective follow-up of over-90-year-olds in the Cambridge City over-75s Cohort study 
BMC Geriatrics  2008;8:6.
Background
The "oldest old" are now the fastest growing section of most western populations, yet there are scarcely any data concerning even the common problem of falls amongst the very old. Prospective data collection is encouraged as the most reliable method for researching older people's falls, though in clinical practice guidelines advise taking a history of any recalled falls. This study set out to inform service planning by describing the epidemiology of falls in advanced old age using both retrospectively and prospectively collected falls data.
Methods
Design: Re-survey of over-90-year-olds in a longitudinal cohort study – cross-sectional interview and intensive 12-month follow-up.
Participants and setting: 90 women and 20 men participating in a population-based cohort (aged 91–105 years, in care-homes and community-dwelling) recruited from representative general practices in Cambridge, UK
Measurements: Prospective falls data were collected using fall calendars and telephone follow-up for one year after cross-sectional survey including fall history.
Results
58% were reported to have fallen at least once in the previous year and 60% in the 1-year follow-up. The proportion reported to have fallen more than once was lower using retrospective recall of the past year than prospective reports gathered the following year (34% versus 45%), as were fall rates (1.6 and 2.8 falls/person-year respectively). Repeated falls in the past year were more highly predictive of falls during the following year – IRR 4.7, 95% CI 2.6–8.7 – than just one – IRR 3.6, 95% CI 2.0–6.3, using negative binomial regression. Only 1/5 reportedly did not fall during either the year before or after interview.
Conclusion
Fall rates in this representative sample of over-90-year-olds are even higher than previous reports from octogenarians. Recalled falls last year, particularly repeated falls, strongly predicted falls during follow-up. Similar proportions of people who fell were reported by retrospective and prospective methods covering two consecutive years. Recall methods may underestimate numbers of repeated falls and the extent of recurrent falling. Professionals caring for people of advanced age can easily ask routinely whether someone has fallen at all, or more than once, in the past year to identify those at high risk of subsequent falls.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-8-6
PMCID: PMC2292187  PMID: 18366645
7.  Epidemiology of falls and osteoporotic fractures: a systematic review 
Background and methods
Fractures in elderly populations result from the combination of falls and osteoporosis. We report a systematic review of studies indexed in PubMed reporting annual rates of low-trauma falls and associated osteoporotic fractures among older community-dwelling people (age ≥ 50 years). An osteoporotic fracture was defined as either a fracture resulting from a low-impact fall in subjects with clinical osteoporosis, a fall resulting in an investigator-defined osteoporotic fracture, or a fall resulting in a low-trauma fracture. Rates are presented using descriptive statistics. Meta-analysis was conducted for statistically homogeneous data sets.
Results
The median (range) annual fall prevalence rates (median proportion of people who experienced one or more falls during the past year) for cohorts of women and men (10 determinations), women alone (seven determinations), and men alone (four determinations) were, respectively, 0.334 (0.217–0.625), 0.460 (0.372–0.517), and 0.349 (0.284–0.526). In studies that reported fall prevalence rates for Western men and women separately (four determinations), the pooled risk ratio (95% confidence interval [CI]) for men versus women was 0.805 (95% CI 0.721–0.900). The ranges of fall prevalence rates in East Asian women (two studies) and East Asian men (two studies) were, respectively, 0.163–0.258 and 0.087–0.184. The risk ratio (95% CI) for fall prevalence in East Asian men versus women was 0.634 (0.479–0.838) in studies (two determinations) reporting results for East Asian men and women separately. In cohorts of Western women and men (five determinations), the pooled rate (95% CI) of low-impact falls resulting in fractures was 0.041 (0.031–0.054). The proportion of low-trauma fractures attributable to falls among the Western community-dwelling elderly was within the range of 0.860–0.950 for fractures at all sites or the hip (five determinations). A range of 0.716–0.924 of all fractures were osteoporotic (eight determinations).
Conclusion
Fall rates are higher in women than in men in Western community-dwelling populations and lower in East Asian populations. Extrapolated to the US population, the statistics imply that low-impact falls cause approximately 0.53 million osteoporotic fractures annually among the US community-dwelling elderly.
doi:10.2147/CEOR.S38721
PMCID: PMC3536355  PMID: 23300349
accidental falls; aged; bone density; fractures; osteoporosis
8.  Objective measures of Physical Activity, Fractures and Falls: The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) 
Background/Objectives
Self-reported physical activity (PA) has been linked to lower hip fracture and fall rates. The objective of this study was to determine the association between objectively measured PA, fractures and falls.
Design/Setting/Participants
2731 men (mean age 79 yrs) recruited at 6 US clinical sites into a longitudinal cohort study.
Measurements
Total and active energy expenditure (EE) and minutes per day spent in sedentary and moderate intensity activities were measured using the multi-sensor SenseWear Pro Armband (SWA)for at least 5 days. Energy expended at a metabolic equivalent (MET >3) was termed active EE. Incident non-spine fractures and falls were identified every 4 months.
Results
759 (28.2%) men fell at least once over 12 months of follow-up; 186 (6.8%) men experienced ≥1 fracture over an average follow-up of 3.5± 0.9 years.The association between PA and falling varied by age (p interaction=0.02). Men 80 yrs, with the lowest active EE had a higher risk of falling, RR=1.43, p trend=0.09. In multivariate models including health status, men in the lowest quintile of active EE had a significantly higher risk of fracture, hazard ratio (HR)=1.82 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10, 3.00), p trend=0.04. Men with less than 33 minutes/day of moderate activity had a 70% increased risk of fracture, HR=1.70(95% CI, 1.03, 2.80).
Conclusion
Age modifies the association between PA and falling. Interventions aimed at >30 minutes of moderate PA per day may reduce fracturesextending existing PA guidelines to the oldest old, the fastest growing proportion of those over age 65.
doi:10.1111/jgs.12326
PMCID: PMC3713521  PMID: 23855842
Exercise; osteoporosis; population studies; falls; fractures; physical activity
9.  Predictors of fracture from falls reported in hospital and residential care facilities: a cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(8):e002948.
Objectives
Fall-related fractures are associated with substantial human and economic costs. An improved understanding of the predictors of fall-related fractures in healthcare settings would be useful in developing future interventions. The objective of this study was to identify such predictors by exploring associations between fall-related factors and fracture outcomes through logistic regression analysis of routinely collected fall incident data.
Design
Retrospective cross-sectional study.
Setting
197 public healthcare facilities in Queensland, Australia.
Participants
We included data from incident reports completed after falls among admitted adult hospital patients (n=24 218 falls, 229 fractures) and aged-care residents (n=8980 falls, 74 fractures) between January 2007 and November 2009.
Primary and secondary outcomes
The outcomes of interest were fall-related predictors of fracture.
Results
Hospital patients who reported to have been screened for their risk of falling at admission were less likely to fracture after a fall (OR: 0.60, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.89) than those who had not been screened. Further, falls from standing (OR: 2.08, 95% CI 1.22 to 3.55) and falls while walking (OR: 1.86, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.62) were associated with higher fracture odds than falls during other activities. In line with these results, falls while reaching in standing (OR: 3.51, 95% CI 1.44 to 8.56) and falls while walking (OR: 2.11, 95% CI 1.24 to 3.58) were also predictive of fracture in the adjusted residential care model.
Conclusions
Our findings indicate that screening of hospital patients for their risk of falling may contribute towards the prevention of fall-related injury. Falls from upright postures appear to be more likely to result in fractures than other falls in healthcare settings. Further prospective research is warranted.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002948
PMCID: PMC3733318  PMID: 23906949
Geriatric Medicine
10.  When, Where and How Osteoporosis-Associated Fractures Occur: An Analysis from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83306.
Objective
To examine when, where and how fractures occur in postmenopausal women.
Methods
We analyzed data from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW), including women aged ≥55 years from the United States of America, Canada, Australia and seven European countries. Women completed questionnaires including fracture data at baseline and years 1, 2 and 3.
Results
Among 60,393 postmenopausal women, 4122 incident fractures were reported (86% non-hip, non-vertebral [NHNV], 8% presumably clinical vertebral and 6% hip). Hip fractures were more likely to occur in spring, with little seasonal variation for NHNV or spine fractures. Hip fractures occurred equally inside or outside the home, whereas 65% of NHNV fractures occurred outside and 61% of vertebral fractures occurred inside the home. Falls preceded 68–86% of NHNV and 68–83% of hip fractures among women aged ≤64 to ≥85 years, increasing with age. About 45% of vertebral fractures were associated with falls in all age groups except those ≥85 years, when only 24% occurred after falling.
Conclusion
In this multi-national cohort, fractures occurred throughout the year, with only hip fracture having a seasonal variation, with a higher proportion in spring. Hip fractures occurred equally within and outside the home, spine fractures more often in the home, and NHNV fractures outside the home. Falls were a proximate cause of most hip and NHNV fractures. Postmenopausal women at risk for fracture need counseling about reducing potentially modifiable fracture risk factors, particularly falls both inside and outside the home and during all seasons of the year.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083306
PMCID: PMC3859637  PMID: 24349484
11.  Reporting of lifetime fractures: methodological considerations and results from the Thai Cohort Study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(4):e001000.
Objectives
To provide estimates of fracture incidence among young adults in Thailand.
Design
Cross-sectional analysis of a large national cohort.
Setting
Thailand.
Participants
A total of 60 569 study participants residing nationwide responded to the 2009 follow-up survey; 55% were women and median age was 34 years (range 19–92).
Outcome measures
Self-reported lifetime fractures, along with age at fracture. Fracture incidence rates per person-year were then compared using lifetime fracture reports, and again selecting only fractures reported for the last year. Incidence rates were compared by age and sex.
Results
18 010 lifetime fractures were reported; 11 645(65%) by men. Lifetime fracture prevalence was 30% for men and 15% for women. Lifetime incidence per 10 000 person-years was 83; analysing only fractures from the last year yielded a corresponding incidence rate of 187. For ages 21–30, fractures per 10 000 person-years were more common among men than women (283 (95% CI 244 to 326) and 150 (130 to 173), respectively); with increasing age, rates decreased among men and increased among women (for ages 51–60, 97 (58 to 151) and 286 (189 to 417), respectively).
Conclusions
Large-scale surveys provide a feasible method for establishing relative fracture incidence among informative subgroups in a population. Limiting analyses to fractures reported to have occurred recently minimises bias due to poor recall. The pattern of self-reported fracture incidence among Thais aged 20–60 was similar to that reported for Western countries: high falling rates in young men and high rising rates in older women.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001000
PMCID: PMC3433778  PMID: 22923625
fracture survey; Thailand; Thai Cohort Study; incidence
12.  Predicting risk of osteoporotic fracture in men and women in England and Wales: prospective derivation and validation of QFractureScores 
Objective To develop and validate two new fracture risk algorithms (QFractureScores) for estimating the individual risk of osteoporotic fracture or hip fracture over 10 years.
Design Prospective open cohort study with routinely collected data from 357 general practices to develop the scores and from 178 practices to validate the scores.
Setting General practices in England and Wales.
Participants 1 183 663 women and 1 174 232 men aged 30-85 in the derivation cohort, who contributed 7 898 208 and 8 049 306 person years of observation, respectively. There were 24 350 incident diagnoses of osteoporotic fracture in women and 7934 in men, and 9302 incident diagnoses of hip fracture in women and 5424 in men.
Main outcome measures First (incident) diagnosis of osteoporotic fracture (vertebral, distal radius, or hip) and incident hip fracture recorded in general practice records.
Results Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, recorded alcohol use, parental history of osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, tricyclic antidepressants, corticosteroids, history of falls, menopausal symptoms, chronic liver disease, gastrointestinal malabsorption, and other endocrine disorders were significantly and independently associated with risk of osteoporotic fracture in women. Some variables were significantly associated with risk of osteoporotic fracture but not with risk of hip fracture. The predictors for men for osteoporotic and hip fracture were age, BMI, smoking status, recorded alcohol use, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, tricyclic antidepressants, corticosteroids, history of falls, and liver disease. The hip fracture algorithm had the best performance among men and women. It explained 63.94% of the variation in women and 63.19% of the variation in men. The D statistic values for discrimination were highest for hip fracture in women (2.73) and men (2.68) and were over twice the magnitude of the corresponding values for osteoporotic fracture. The ROC statistics for hip fracture were also high: 0.89 in women and 0.86 for men versus 0.79 and 0.69, respectively, for the osteoporotic fracture outcome. The algorithms were well calibrated with predicted risks closely matching observed risks. The QFractureScore for hip fracture also had good performance for discrimination and calibration compared with the FRAX (fracture risk assessment) algorithm.
Conclusions These new algorithms can predict risk of fracture in primary care populations in the UK without laboratory measurements and are therefore suitable for use in both clinical settings and for self assessment (www.qfracture.org). QFractureScores could be used to identify patients at high risk of fracture who might benefit from interventions to reduce their risk.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b4229
PMCID: PMC2779855  PMID: 19926696
13.  Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors 
Executive Summary
In early August 2007, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Aging in the Community project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding healthy aging in the community. The Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the ministry’s newly released Aging at Home Strategy.
After a broad literature review and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified 4 key areas that strongly predict an elderly person’s transition from independent community living to a long-term care home. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these 4 areas: falls and fall-related injuries, urinary incontinence, dementia, and social isolation. For the first area, falls and fall-related injuries, an economic model is described in a separate report.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html, to review these titles within the Aging in the Community series.
Aging in the Community: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Prevention of Falls and Fall-Related Injuries in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Caregiver- and Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Social Isolation in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
The Falls/Fractures Economic Model in Ontario Residents Aged 65 Years and Over (FEMOR)
Objective
To assess the effectiveness of behavioural interventions for the treatment and management of urinary incontinence (UI) in community-dwelling seniors.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Urinary incontinence defined as “the complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine” was identified as 1 of the key predictors in a senior’s transition from independent community living to admission to a long-term care (LTC) home. Urinary incontinence is a health problem that affects a substantial proportion of Ontario’s community-dwelling seniors (and indirectly affects caregivers), impacting their health, functioning, well-being and quality of life. Based on Canadian studies, prevalence estimates range from 9% to 30% for senior men and nearly double from 19% to 55% for senior women. The direct and indirect costs associated with UI are substantial. It is estimated that the total annual costs in Canada are $1.5 billion (Cdn), and that each year a senior living at home will spend $1,000 to $1,500 on incontinence supplies.
Interventions to treat and manage UI can be classified into broad categories which include lifestyle modification, behavioural techniques, medications, devices (e.g., continence pessaries), surgical interventions and adjunctive measures (e.g., absorbent products).
The focus of this review is behavioural interventions, since they are commonly the first line of treatment considered in seniors given that they are the least invasive options with no reported side effects, do not limit future treatment options, and can be applied in combination with other therapies. In addition, many seniors would not be ideal candidates for other types of interventions involving more risk, such as surgical measures.
Note: It is recognized that the terms “senior” and “elderly” carry a range of meanings for different audiences; this report generally uses the former, but the terms are treated here as essentially interchangeable.
Description of Technology/Therapy
Behavioural interventions can be divided into 2 categories according to the target population: caregiver-dependent techniques and patient-directed techniques. Caregiver-dependent techniques (also known as toileting assistance) are targeted at medically complex, frail individuals living at home with the assistance of a caregiver, who tends to be a family member. These seniors may also have cognitive deficits and/or motor deficits. A health care professional trains the senior’s caregiver to deliver an intervention such as prompted voiding, habit retraining, or timed voiding. The health care professional who trains the caregiver is commonly a nurse or a nurse with advanced training in the management of UI, such as a nurse continence advisor (NCA) or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
The second category of behavioural interventions consists of patient-directed techniques targeted towards mobile, motivated seniors. Seniors in this population are cognitively able, free from any major physical deficits, and motivated to regain and/or improve their continence. A nurse or a nurse with advanced training in UI management, such as an NCA or CNS, delivers the patient-directed techniques. These are often provided as multicomponent interventions including a combination of bladder training techniques, pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), education on bladder control strategies, and self-monitoring. Pelvic floor muscle training, defined as a program of repeated pelvic floor muscle contractions taught and supervised by a health care professional, may be employed as part of a multicomponent intervention or in isolation.
Education is a large component of both caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions, and patient and/or caregiver involvement as well as continued practice strongly affect the success of treatment. Incontinence products, which include a large variety of pads and devices for effective containment of urine, may be used in conjunction with behavioural techniques at any point in the patient’s management.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
A comprehensive search strategy was used to identify systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials that examined the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions for the treatment of UI in community-dwelling seniors (see Appendix 1).
Research Questions
Are caregiver-dependent behavioural interventions effective in improving UI in medically complex, frail community-dwelling seniors with/without cognitive deficits and/or motor deficits?
Are patient-directed behavioural interventions effective in improving UI in mobile, motivated community-dwelling seniors?
Are behavioural interventions delivered by NCAs or CNSs in a clinic setting effective in improving incontinence outcomes in community-dwelling seniors?
Assessment of Quality of Evidence
The quality of the evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE methodology and GRADE Working Group. As per GRADE the following definitions apply:
Summary of Findings
Executive Summary Table 1 summarizes the results of the analysis.
The available evidence was limited by considerable variation in study populations and in the type and severity of UI for studies examining both caregiver-directed and patient-directed interventions. The UI literature frequently is limited to reporting subjective outcome measures such as patient observations and symptoms. The primary outcome of interest, admission to a LTC home, was not reported in the UI literature. The number of eligible studies was low, and there were limited data on long-term follow-up.
Summary of Evidence on Behavioural Interventions for the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors
Prompted voiding
Habit retraining
Timed voiding
Bladder training
PFMT (with or without biofeedback)
Bladder control strategies
Education
Self-monitoring
CI refers to confidence interval; CNS, clinical nurse specialist; NCA, nurse continence advisor; PFMT, pelvic floor muscle training; RCT, randomized controlled trial; WMD, weighted mean difference; UI, urinary incontinence.
Economic Analysis
A budget impact analysis was conducted to forecast costs for caregiver-dependent and patient-directed multicomponent behavioural techniques delivered by NCAs, and PFMT alone delivered by physiotherapists. All costs are reported in 2008 Canadian dollars. Based on epidemiological data, published medical literature and clinical expert opinion, the annual cost of caregiver-dependent behavioural techniques was estimated to be $9.2 M, while the annual costs of patient-directed behavioural techniques delivered by either an NCA or physiotherapist were estimated to be $25.5 M and $36.1 M, respectively. Estimates will vary if the underlying assumptions are changed.
Currently, the province of Ontario absorbs the cost of NCAs (available through the 42 Community Care Access Centres across the province) in the home setting. The 2007 Incontinence Care in the Community Report estimated that the total cost being absorbed by the public system of providing continence care in the home is $19.5 M in Ontario. This cost estimate included resources such as personnel, communication with physicians, record keeping and product costs. Clinic costs were not included in this estimation because currently these come out of the global budget of the respective hospital and very few continence clinics actually exist in the province. The budget impact analysis factored in a cost for the clinic setting, assuming that the public system would absorb the cost with this new model of community care.
Considerations for Ontario Health System
An expert panel on aging in the community met on 3 occasions from January to May 2008, and in part, discussed treatment of UI in seniors in Ontario with a focus on caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions. In particular, the panel discussed how treatment for UI is made available to seniors in Ontario and who provides the service. Some of the major themes arising from the discussions included:
Services/interventions that currently exist in Ontario offering behavioural interventions to treat UI are not consistent. There is a lack of consistency in how seniors access services for treatment of UI, who manages patients and what treatment patients receive.
Help-seeking behaviours are important to consider when designing optimal service delivery methods.
There is considerable social stigma associated with UI and therefore there is a need for public education and an awareness campaign.
The cost of incontinent supplies and the availability of NCAs were highlighted.
Conclusions
There is moderate-quality evidence that the following interventions are effective in improving UI in mobile motivated seniors:
Multicomponent behavioural interventions including a combination of bladder training techniques, PFMT (with or without biofeedback), education on bladder control strategies and self-monitoring techniques.
Pelvic floor muscle training alone.
There is moderate quality evidence that when behavioural interventions are led by NCAs or CNSs in a clinic setting, they are effective in improving UI in seniors.
There is limited low-quality evidence that prompted voiding may be effective in medically complex, frail seniors with motivated caregivers.
There is insufficient evidence for the following interventions in medically complex, frail seniors with motivated caregivers:
habit retraining, and
timed voiding.
PMCID: PMC3377527  PMID: 23074508
14.  Epidemiology of rib fractures in older men: Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) prospective cohort study  
Objective To study the causes and consequences of radiologically confirmed rib fractures (seldom considered in the context of osteoporosis) in community dwelling older men.
Design Prospective cohort study (Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study).
Setting and participants 5995 men aged 65 or over recruited in 2000-2 from six US sites; 99% answered mailed questionnaires about falls and fractures every four months for a mean 6.2 (SD 1.3) year follow-up.
Main outcome measures New fractures validated by radiology reports; multivariate Cox proportional hazard ratios were used to evaluate factors independently associated with time to incident rib fracture; associations between baseline rib fracture and incident hip and wrist fracture were also evaluated.
Results The incidence of rib fracture was 3.5/1000 person years, and 24% (126/522) of all incident non-spine fractures were rib fractures. Nearly half of new rib fractures (48%; n=61) followed falling from standing height or lower. Independent risk factors for an incident rib fracture were age 80 or above, low bone density, difficulty with instrumental activities of daily living, and a baseline history of rib/chest fracture. Men with a history of rib/chest fracture had at least a twofold increased risk of an incident rib fracture (adjusted hazard ratio 2.71, 95% confidence interval 1.86 to 3.95), hip fracture (2.05, 1.33 to 3.15), and wrist fracture (2.06, 1.14 to 3.70). Only 14/82 of men reported being treated with bone specific drugs after their incident rib fracture.
Conclusions Rib fracture, the most common incident clinical fracture in men, was associated with classic risk markers for osteoporosis, including old age, low hip bone mineral density, and history of fracture. A history of rib fracture predicted a more than twofold increased risk of future fracture of the rib, hip, or wrist, independent of bone density and other covariates. Rib fractures should be considered to be osteoporotic fractures in the evaluation of older men for treatment to prevent future fracture.
doi:10.1136/bmj.c1069
PMCID: PMC2839084  PMID: 20231246
15.  Randomised controlled trial of calcium and supplementation with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) for prevention of fractures in primary care 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;330(7498):1003.
Objective To assess whether supplementation with calcium and cholecaliferol (vitamin D3) reduces the risk of fracture in women with one or more risk factors for fracture of the hip.
Design Pragmatic open randomised controlled trial.
Setting Practice nurse led clinics in primary care.
Participants 3314 women aged 70 and over with one or more risk factors for hip fracture: any previous fracture, low body weight (< 58 kg), smoker, family history of hip fracture, or fair or poor self reported health.
Intervention Daily oral supplementation using 1000 mg calcium with 800 IU cholecaliferol and information leaflet on dietary calcium intake and prevention of falls, or leaflet only (control group).
Main outcome measures Primary outcome measure was all clinical fractures and secondary outcome measures were adherence to treatment, falls, and quality of life (measured with the SF-12).
Results 69% of the women who completed the follow-up questionnaire at 24 months were still taking supplements (55% with inclusion of randomised participants known to be alive). After a median follow-up of 25 months (range 18 to 42 months), clinical fracture rates were lower than expected in both groups but did not significantly differ for all clinical fractures (odds ratio for fracture in supplemented group 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.71 to 1.43). The odds ratio for hip fracture was 0.75 (0.31 to 1.78). The odds of a woman having a fall at six and 12 months was 0.99 and 0.98, respectively. Quality of life did not significantly differ between the groups.
Conclusion We found no evidence that calcium and vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of clinical fractures in women with one or more risk factors for hip fracture.
Registration ISRCTN26118436, controlled trials registry.
PMCID: PMC557150  PMID: 15860827
16.  The Personal and Health Service Impact of Falls in 85 Year Olds: Cross-Sectional Findings from the Newcastle 85+ Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33078.
Introduction
Falls are common in older people and increase in prevalence with advancing old age. There is limited knowledge about their impact in those aged 85 years and older, the fastest growing age group of the population. We investigated the prevalence and impact of falls, and the overlap between falls, dizziness and blackouts, in a population-based sample of 85 year olds.
Methods
Design: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from Newcastle 85+ Cohort Study. Setting: Primary care, North-East England. Participants: 816 men and women aged 85 years. Measurements: Structured interview with research nurse. Cost-consequence analysis of fall-related healthcare costs.
Results
Over 38% (313/816) of participants had fallen at least once in the previous 12 months and of these: 10.6% (33/312) sustained a fracture, 30.1% (94/312) attended an emergency department, and 12.8% (40/312) were admitted to hospital. Only 37.2% (115/309) of fallers had specifically discussed their falls problem with their general practitioner and only 12.7% (39/308) had seen a falls specialist. The average annual healthcare cost per faller was estimated at £202 (inter-quartile range £174–£231) or US$329 ($284–$377). ‘Worry about falling’ was experienced by 42.0% (128/305) of fallers, ‘loss of confidence’ by 40.0% (122/305), and ‘going out less often’ by 25.9% (79/305); each was significantly more common in women, odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for women: men of 2.63 (1.45–4.55), 4.00 (2.27–7.14), and 2.86 (1.54–5.56) respectively. Dizziness and blackouts were reported by 40.0% (318/796) and 6.4% (52/808) of participants respectively. There was marked overlap in the report of falls, dizziness and blackouts.
Conclusions
Falls in 85 year olds are very common, associated with considerable psychological and physical morbidity, and have high impact on healthcare services. Wider use of fall prevention services is needed. Significant expansion in acute and preventative services is required in view of the rapid growth in this age group.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033078
PMCID: PMC3302867  PMID: 22427954
17.  Leisure Physical Activity and the Risk of Fracture in Men 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(6):e199.
Background
Data from previous studies are inconsistent, and it is therefore uncertain whether, to what extent, and at what level leisure physical activity influences the risk of osteoporotic fractures in men.
Methods and Findings
A cohort of 2,205 men, 49–51 y of age, was enrolled in a longitudinal, population-based study. Leisure physical activity and other lifestyle habits were established at baseline and at ages 60, 70, 77, and 82 y. During 35 y of follow-up, 482 men had at least one fracture. Cox's proportional hazards regression was used to determine hazard ratios (HRs) of fracture associated with time-dependent physical activity habits and covariates. Men with a sedentary lifestyle (HR 2.56, 95% confidence interval 1.55–4.24) or men who walked or bicycled only for pleasure (HR 1.61, 95% confidence interval 1.10–2.36) had an increased adjusted risk of hip fracture compared with men who participated in regular sports activities for at least 3 h/wk. At the end of follow-up, 8.4% of the men with a high physical activity, 13.3% of the men with a medium physical activity, and 20.5% of the men with a low physical activity had suffered a hip fracture. According to the estimation of population-attributable risk, one third of all hip fractures could be prevented by participation in regular sports activities. High activity also conferred a reduced overall fracture risk.
Conclusions
Our data indicate that regular sports activities can reduce the risk of fractures in older men.
From a large cohort study with 35 years of follow-up, Michaelsson and colleagues conclude that regular sport activities can reduce the risk of fractures in older men.
Editors' Summary
Background.
One of the hazards of old age is that the bones become less dense—and therefore weaker—so when an elderly person falls, the result is often a broken bone. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 y will break a bone because of this, and the consequences can be serious, particularly if the hip is broken. The thinning of bones, which is known as osteoporosis, does affect all people as they age, but the degree to which it occurs varies greatly between individuals. A priority area for medical research is finding ways in which osteoporosis can be reduced, with the aim of improving the lives of older people and reducing their risk of “osteoporotic fractures.” It is known that genetic and environmental factors can both play a part in how rapidly osteoporosis develops, but it is generally agreed that personal lifestyle factors are also important. Osteoporosis develops over many years; in most people bone density starts to decline after the age of about 30 y. Preventive action should therefore begin early.
Most research so far has focused on women, who are more at risk as the thinning of their bones increases after the menopause. (Indeed osteoporosis has sometimes been wrongly described as a “woman's disease.”) It is now accepted that women who are more physically active reduce the rate of decline in their bone density and, as a result, are less likely to break bones when they are elderly. There has been little research in men and the results have not been consistent.
Why Was This Study Done?
In order to provide better evidence as to whether men who do more physical activity have fewer osteoporotic fractures than those with lower activity levels, the researchers wanted to complete a study that was larger and was conducted over a longer period of time than previous research.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between 1970 and 1973, the researchers invited all those men living in Uppsala, Sweden, who were aged between 49 and 51 y to participate in a health survey. Most of them (2,205) agreed to do so. When the study began, they were asked questions about the amount of physical activity they took outside working hours. They were asked the same questions again when they were aged 60, 70, 77, and 82 y. A record was also kept of the number of fractures the men had suffered during the 35-y study period. (Although some of the men died before the end of the study, about half were still alive at the end.) On the basis of the answers to the questions on physical activity at the start of the study, the researchers divided the men into three categories: those whose lifestyle was considered to be “sedentary,” those whose leisure activities included some walking and cycling, and those who participated in sports for at least 3 h a week. These were referred to as the low, medium, and high activity groups. Over the 35-y period, 428 men had at least one fracture and 134 broke a hip, but there were big differences between the groups—20% of the low-activity men had fractures compared with 13% of those with medium activity and only 8% of those in the high-activity group. In particular, the chance of having a hip fracture was reduced by increased activity.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Taking exercise reduces the risk of an osteoporotic fracture. Participating in sports seems to be particularly effective; the researchers calculate that one-third of fractures could be prevented if men could be persuaded to take part in sports regularly. The researchers do note that the very best evidence always comes from studies where people are assigned at random to receive a particular “treatment” (in this case, it would be exercise) and are compared with others who did not receive the treatment. This is known as a “randomized controlled trial.” Such a trial would be difficult, if not impossible, to organize on this topic, and the approach adopted by the researchers, which is known as a “cohort study,” does provide very strong evidence. There are many other benefits from increased exercise (for example, in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes), and most governments are now promoting sports and other active leisure pursuits. This study adds further weight to support such policies.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040199.g002.
There are many free sources of information about osteoporosis on the Web, and many organizations exist to support people with the condition. For example, the National Osteoporosis Society (UK) has useful information about the condition
In the USA, there is the Nationtal Osteoporosis Foundation (USA)
The equivalent organization in Australia is Osteoporosis Australia
The UK National Health Service's NHS Direct Health Encyclopedia has an entry on osteoporosis
MedlinePlus is an excellent source of information
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040199
PMCID: PMC1892039  PMID: 17579509
18.  Fracture risk assessment in long-term care: a survey of long-term care physicians 
BMC Geriatrics  2013;13:109.
Background
The majority of frail elderly who live in long-term care (LTC) are not treated for osteoporosis despite their high risk for fragility fractures. Clinical Practice Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis provide guidance for the management of individuals 50 years and older at risk for fractures, however, they cannot benefit LTC residents if physicians perceive barriers to their application. Our objectives are to explore current practices to fracture risk assessment by LTC physicians and describe barriers to applying the recently published Osteoporosis Canada practice guidelines for fracture assessment and prevention in LTC.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted with the Ontario Long-Term Care Physicians Association using an online questionnaire. The survey included questions that addressed members’ attitudes, knowledge, and behaviour with respect to fracture risk assessment in LTC. Closed-ended responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics and thematic framework analysis for open-ended responses.
Results
We contacted 347 LTC physicians; 25% submitted completed surveys (81% men, mean age 60 (Standard Deviation [SD] 11) years, average 32 [SD 11] years in practice). Of the surveyed physicians, 87% considered prevention of fragility fractures to be important, but a minority (34%) reported using validated fracture risk assessment tools, while 33% did not use any. Clinical risk factors recommended by the OC guidelines for assessing fracture risk considered applicable included; glucocorticoid use (99%), fall history (93%), age (92%), and fracture history (91%). Recommended clinical measurements considered applicable included: weight (84%), thyroid-stimulating hormone (78%) and creatinine (73%) measurements, height (61%), and Get-Up-and-Go test (60%). Perceived barriers to assessing fracture risk included difficulty acquiring necessary information, lack of access to tests (bone mineral density, x-rays) or obtaining medical history; resource constraints, and a sentiment that assessing fracture risk is futile in this population because of short life expectancy and polypharmacy.
Conclusion
Perceived barriers to fracture risk assessment and osteoporosis management in LTC have not changed recently, contributing in part to the ongoing care gap in osteoporosis management. Our findings highlight the importance to adapt guidelines to be applicable to the LTC environment, and to develop partnerships with stakeholders to facilitate their use in clinical practice.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-13-109
PMCID: PMC3853074  PMID: 24138565
Fractures; Osteoporosis; Fracture risk assessment; Long-term care; Survey
19.  Measuring the Population Burden of Injuries—Implications for Global and National Estimates: A Multi-centre Prospective UK Longitudinal Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(12):e1001140.
Ronan Lyons and colleagues compared the population burden of injuries using different approaches from the UK Burden of Injury and Global Burden of Disease studies and find that the absolute UK burden of injury is higher than previously estimated.
Background
Current methods of measuring the population burden of injuries rely on many assumptions and limited data available to the global burden of diseases (GBD) studies. The aim of this study was to compare the population burden of injuries using different approaches from the UK Burden of Injury (UKBOI) and GBD studies.
Methods and Findings
The UKBOI was a prospective cohort of 1,517 injured individuals that collected patient-reported outcomes. Extrapolated outcome data were combined with multiple sources of morbidity and mortality data to derive population metrics of the burden of injury in the UK. Participants were injured patients recruited from hospitals in four UK cities and towns: Swansea, Nottingham, Bristol, and Guildford, between September 2005 and April 2007. Patient-reported changes in quality of life using the EQ-5D at baseline, 1, 4, and 12 months after injury provided disability weights used to calculate the years lived with disability (YLDs) component of disability adjusted life years (DALYs). DALYs were calculated for the UK and extrapolated to global estimates using both UKBOI and GBD disability weights. Estimated numbers (and rates per 100,000) for UK population extrapolations were 750,999 (1,240) for hospital admissions, 7,982,947 (13,339) for emergency department (ED) attendances, and 22,185 (36.8) for injury-related deaths in 2005. Nonadmitted ED-treated injuries accounted for 67% of YLDs. Estimates for UK DALYs amounted to 1,771,486 (82% due to YLDs), compared with 669,822 (52% due to YLDs) using the GBD approach. Extrapolating patient-derived disability weights to GBD estimates would increase injury-related DALYs 2.6-fold.
Conclusions
The use of disability weights derived from patient experiences combined with additional morbidity data on ED-treated patients and inpatients suggests that the absolute burden of injury is higher than previously estimated. These findings have substantial implications for improving measurement of the national and global burden of injury.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Injuries—resulting from traffic collisions, drowning, poisoning, falls or burns, and violence from assault, self-inflicted violence, or acts of war—kill more than 5 million people worldwide every year and cause harm to millions more. Injuries account for at least 9% of global mortality and are a threat to health in every country of the world. Furthermore, for every death-related injury, dozens of injured people are admitted to hospitals, hundreds visit emergency rooms, and thousands go to see their doctors by appointment. A large proportion of people surviving their injuries will be left with temporary or permanent disabilities.
The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors (GBD) Studies are instrumental in quantifying the burden of injuries placed on society and are essential for the public health response, priority setting, and policy development. Central to the GBD methodology is the concept of Disability Adjusted Life years (DALYs), and a combination of premature mortality, referred to as years of life lost and years lived with disability. However, rather than evidence and measurements, the GBD Study used panel studies and expert opinion to estimate weights and durations of disability. Therefore, although the GBD has been a major development, it may have underestimated the population burden.
Why Was This Study Done?
Accurate measurement of the burden of injuries is essential to ensure adequate policy responses to prevention and treatment. In this study, the researchers aimed to overcome the limitations of previous studies and for the first time, measured the population burden of injuries in the UK using a combination of disability and morbidity metrics, including years of life lost, and years lived with disabilities.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited patients aged over 5 years with a wide range of injuries (including fractures and dislocations, lacerations, bruises and abrasions, sprains, burns and scalds, and head, eye, thorax, and abdominal injuries) from hospitals in four English cities—Swansea, Nottingham, Bristol, and Guildford—between September 2005 and April 2007. The researchers collected data on injury-related mortality, hospital admissions, and attendances to emergency rooms. They also invited patients (or their proxy, if participants were young children) to complete a self-administered questionnaire at recruitment and at 1, 4, and 12 months postinjury to allow data collection on injury characteristics, use of health and social services, time off work, and recovery from injury, in addition to sociodemographic and economic and occupational characteristics. The researchers also used standardized tools to measure health-related quality of life and work problems. Then, the researchers used these patient-reported changes to calculate DALYs for the UK and then extrapolated these results to calculate global estimates.
In the four study sites, a total of 1,517 injured people (median age of 37.4 years and 53.9% male) participated in the study. The researchers found that the vast majority of injuries were unintentional and that the home was the most frequent location of injury. Using the data and information collected from the questionnaires, the researchers extrapolated their results and found that in 2005, there were an estimated 750,999 injury-related hospital admissions, 7,982,947 emergency room attendances, and 22,185 injury-related deaths, translating to a rate per 100,000 of 1,240, 13,339, and 36.8, respectively. The researchers estimated UK DALYs related to injury to be 1,771,486 compared with 669,822 using the GBD approach. Furthermore, the researchers found that extrapolating patient-derived disability weights to GBD estimates would increase injury-related DALYs 2.6-fold.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings of this study suggest that, when using data and information derived from patient experiences, combined with additional morbidity data on patients treated in emergency rooms and those, admitted to hospital, the absolute burden of injury is higher than previously estimated. While this study was carried out in the UK the principal findings are relevant to other countries. However, measurement of the population burden of injuries requires access to high quality data, which may be difficult in less affluent countries, and these data rely on access to health facilities, which is often restricted in resource-limited settings. Despite these concerns, these findings have substantial implications for improving measurements of the national and global burden of injury.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001140.
The World Health Organization website provides detailed information about injuries and also details the work of the Global Burden of Disease Study
The Global Burden of Injury's website is a portal to websites run by groups conducting ongoing research into the measurement of global injury metrics
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001140
PMCID: PMC3232198  PMID: 22162954
20.  Risk Factors for Osteoporosis and Fractures in Postmenopausal Women Between 50 and 65 Years of Age in a Primary Care Setting in Spain: A Questionnaire 
Introduction
Osteoporosis (OP) is a major, highly prevalent health problem and osteoporosis-related fractures account for high morbidity and mortality. Therefore, prevention and early detection of osteoporosis should strive to substantially reduce this risk of fracture.
Objective
The present observational, descriptive, cross-sectional study sought to assess the prevalence of risk factors for osteoporosis and fractures in a large sample of postmenopausal women aged 50 to 65 years attending Primary Care facilities in Spain.
Methods
We recruited 4,960 women, at 96 Primary Care centers. Demographic and anthropometrical data, as well as information regarding risk factors for OP were collected using a questionnaire.
Results
The prevalence rates for the major osteoporosis risk factors in our population were: low calcium intake, 43%; benzodiazepine use, 35.1%, and height loss, 30.1%. Other relatively prevalent factors include: having suffered at least one fall during the preceding year; positive family history of falls (particularly on the mother’s side), smoking, kyphosis, presence of any disease affecting bone metabolism, personal history of falls, and inability to rise from a chair without using one’s arms. The least frequent factors were weight loss of greater than 10% over the preceding 10 years and problems in sensory perception that affect patient’s ability to walk.
Conclusions
The main risk factors for osteoporosis in women 50-65 years of age are low calcium intake, use of benzodiazepines, and observed loss of height. Our results may help physicians to identify groups at risk for OP and fractures at early stages and consequently, optimize prevention and early diagnosis of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
doi:10.2174/1874312900802010058
PMCID: PMC2588091  PMID: 19088873
Postmenopausal women; risk factors; osteoporosis; primary health care.
21.  Risk of falling in patients with a recent fracture 
Background
Patients with a history of a fracture have an increased risk for future fractures, even in short term. The aim of this study was to assess the number of patients with falls and to identify fall risk factors that predict the risk of falling in the first three months after a clinical fracture.
Methods
Prospective observational study with 3 months of follow-up in a large European academic and regional hospital. In 277 consenting women and men aged ≥ 50 years and with no dementia and not receiving treatment for osteoporosis who presented to hospital with a clinical fracture, fall risk factors were assessed according to the guidelines on fall prevention in the Netherlands. Follow-up information on falls and fractures was collected by monthly telephone interview. Incidence of falls and odds ratio's (OR, with 95% confidence intervals) were calculated.
Results
512 consecutive patients with a fracture were regarded for analysis, 87 were not eligible for inclusion and 137 patients were excluded. No follow-up data were available for 11 patients. Therefore full analysis was possible in 277 patients.
A new fall incident was reported by 42 patients (15%), of whom five had a fracture. Of the 42 fallers, 32 had one new fall and 10 had two or more.
Multivariate analysis in the total group with sex, age, ADL difficulties, urine incontinence and polypharmacy showed that sex and ADL were significant fall risk factors. Women had an OR of 3.02 (95% CI 1.13–8.06) and patients with ADL-difficulties had an OR of 2.50 (95% CI 1.27–4.93).
Multivariate analysis in the female group with age, ADL difficulties, polypharmacy and presence of orthostatic hypotension indicated that polypharmacy was the predominant risk factor (OR 2.51; 95% CI: 1.19 – 5.28). The incidence of falls was 35% in women with low ADL score and polypharmacy compared to 15% in women without these risk factors (OR 3.56: CI 1.47 – 8.67).
Conclusion
15% of patients reported a new fall and 5 patients suffered a new fracture within 3 months. Female sex and low ADL score were the major risk factors and, in addition, polypharmacy in women.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-55
PMCID: PMC1933426  PMID: 17598891
22.  Effectiveness of a multifactorial falls prevention program in community-dwelling older people when compared to usual care: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial (Prevquedas Brazil) 
BMC Geriatrics  2013;13:27.
Background
Falling in older age is a major public health concern due to its costly and disabling consequences. However very few randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have been conducted in developing countries, in which population ageing is expected to be particularly substantial in coming years. This article describes the design of an RCT to evaluate the effectiveness of a multifactorial falls prevention program in reducing the rate of falls in community-dwelling older people.
Methods/design
Multicentre parallel-group RCT involving 612 community-dwelling men and women aged 60 years and over, who have fallen at least once in the previous year. Participants will be recruited in multiple settings in Sao Paulo, Brazil and will be randomly allocated to a control group or an intervention group. The usual care control group will undergo a fall risk factor assessment and be referred to their clinicians with the risk assessment report so that individual modifiable risk factors can be managed without any specific guidance. The intervention group will receive a 12-week Multifactorial Falls Prevention Program consisting of: an individualised medical management of modifiable risk factors, a group-based, supervised balance training exercise program plus an unsupervised home-based exercise program, an educational/behavioral intervention. Both groups will receive a leaflet containing general information about fall prevention strategies. Primary outcome measures will be the rate of falls and the proportion of fallers recorded by monthly falls diaries and telephone calls over a 12 month period. Secondary outcomes measures will include risk of falling, fall-related self-efficacy score, measures of balance, mobility and strength, fall-related health services use and independence with daily tasks. Data will be analysed using the intention-to-treat principle.The incidence of falls in the intervention and control groups will be calculated and compared using negative binomial regression analysis.
Discussion
This study is the first trial to be conducted in Brazil to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention to prevent falls. If proven to reduce falls this study has the potential to benefit older adults and assist health care practitioners and policy makers to implement and promote effective falls prevention interventions.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01698580)
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-13-27
PMCID: PMC3606610  PMID: 23497000
Accidental falls; Clinical trial; Aged; Exercise; Education
23.  What Accounts for Rib Fractures in Older Adults? 
Journal of Osteoporosis  2011;2011:457591.
To address the epidemiology of rib fractures, an age- and sex-stratified random sample of 699 Rochester, Minnesota, adults age 21–93 years was followed in a long-term prospective study. Bone mineral density (BMD) was assessed at baseline, and fractures were ascertained by periodic interview and medical record review. During 8560 person-years of followup (median, 13.9 years), 56 subjects experienced 67 rib fracture episodes. Risk factors for falling predicted rib fractures as well as BMD, but both were strongly age-related. After age-adjustment, BMD was associated with rib fractures in women but not men. Importantly, rib fractures attributed to severe trauma were associated with BMD in older individuals of both sexes. Self-reported heavy alcohol use doubled fracture risk but did not achieve significance due to limited statistical power. Bone density, along with heavy alcohol use and other risk factors for falling, contributes to the risk of rib fractures, but no one factor predominates. Older women with rib fractures, regardless of cause, should be considered for an osteoporosis evaluation, and strategies to prevent falling should be considered in both sexes.
doi:10.4061/2011/457591
PMCID: PMC3199083  PMID: 22028986
24.  The association between primary open-angle glaucoma and fall: an observational study 
Purpose
Falls are among the most serious public health concerns for the elderly. Information conveyed via the visual sense is relevant to postural balance and movement, and proper visual function is essential to avoid falls. Here we investigated the prevalence of injurious falls among patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) who were more than 45 years old, compared with comparably aged healthy subjects.
Methods
This is a cross-sectional study. Consecutive patients who visited the Tanabe Eye Clinic, Yamanashi, Japan between January 1 and March 30, 2009 were screened for eligibility by ophthalmic examination. A total of 117 control subjects (77 men, 40 women; aged 60.2 ± 7.5 years) who were free of ocular disease and 101 POAG patients (58 men, 43 women; aged 62.3 ± 8.7 years) were consecutively enrolled. Participants answered a questionnaire on injurious fall experience during the previous 10 years. The prevalence of injurious fall in subjects with POAG versus healthy controls was examined with Fisher’s exact test. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated with logistic regression models for the subjects with POAG (factors: age, gender, mean deviation in the better eye or worse eye).
Results
The self-reported prevalence of injurious fall was 0.9% (1/117) in the control group and 6.9% (7/101) in the POAG group. The association between injurious fall and POAG was statistically significant (P = 0.026, Fisher’s exact test). Within the POAG patients, the group reporting falls was significantly older and had a lower BMI, worse BCVA, and worse mean deviation in both the better and worse eye than the group reporting no falls. Worse mean deviation in the eye with the better visual field (odds ratios 0.75; 95% confidence intervals: 0.57 to 0.99; P = 0.036) was a significant risk factor for injurious falls in subjects with POAG.
Conclusions
POAG was significantly associated with injurious falls.
doi:10.2147/OPTH.S28281
PMCID: PMC3295630  PMID: 22399845
primary open-angle glaucoma; fall; visual field defect; injury
25.  Frailty index of deficit accumulation and falls: data from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) Hamilton cohort 
Background
To investigate the association between frailty index (FI) of deficit accumulation and risk of falls, fractures, death and overnight hospitalizations in women aged 55 years and older.
Methods
The data were from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) Hamilton Cohort. In this 3-year longitudinal, observational cohort study, women (N = 3,985) aged ≥55 years were enrolled between May 2008 and March 2009 in Hamilton, Canada. A FI including co-morbidities, activities of daily living, symptoms and signs, and healthcare utilization was constructed using 34 health deficits at baseline. Relationship between the FI and falls, fractures, death and overnight hospitalizations was examined.
Results
The FI was significantly associated with age, with a mean rate of deficit accumulation across baseline age of 0.004 or 0.021 (on a log scale) per year. During the third year of follow-up, 1,068 (31.89%) women reported at least one fall. Each increment of 0.01 on the FI was associated with a significantly increased risk of falls during the third year of follow-up (odds ratio [OR]: 1.02, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02-1.03). The area under the curve (AUC) of the predictive model was 0.69 (95% CI: 0.67-0.71). Results of subgroup and sensitivity analyses indicated the relationship between the FI and risk of falls was robust, while bootstrap analysis judged its internal validation. The FI was significantly related to fractures (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.02, 95% CI: 1.01-1.03), death (OR: 1.05, 95% CI: 1.03-1.06) during the 3-year follow-up period and overnight hospitalizations (incidence rate ratio [IRR]: 1.02, 95% CI: 1.02-1.03) for an increase of 0.01 on the FI during the third year of follow-up. Measured by per standard deviation (SD) increment of the FI, the ORs were 1.21 and 1.40 for falls and death respectively, while the HR was 1.17 for fractures and the IRR was 1.18 for overnight hospitalizations respectively.
Conclusion
The FI of deficit accumulation increased with chronological age significantly. The FI was associated with and predicted increased risk of falls, fractures, death and overnight hospitalizations significantly.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-185
PMCID: PMC4046442  PMID: 24885323
Frailty; Falls; Fracture; Death; Hospitalization

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