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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(11), 5989-5997; doi:10.3390/ijerph10115989
Article

Age-Related Changes in Physical Fall Risk Factors: Results from a 3 Year Follow-up of Community Dwelling Older Adults in Tasmania, Australia

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Received: 5 September 2013; in revised form: 5 November 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care for Old People)
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Abstract: As the population ages, fall rates are expected to increase, leading to a rise in accidental injury and injury-related deaths, and placing an escalating burden on health care systems. Sixty-nine independent community-dwelling adults (60–85 years, 18 males) had their leg strength, physical activity levels and their annual fall rate assessed at two timepoints over three years, (summer 2010 and summer 2013) monitoring balance. Force platform measures of medio-lateral sway range increased significantly under conditions of eyes open (mean difference MD 2.5 cm; 95% CI 2.2 to 2.8 cm) and eyes closed (MD 3.2 cm; 95% CI 2.8 to 3.6 cm), respectively (all p < 0.001) indicating worsening static balance control. Dynamic balance showed similar changes (p < 0.036). Leg strength was not significantly different between visits (p > 0.26). Physical activity reduced significantly (MD −909 Cal/week; 95% CI −347 to −1,470 Cal/week; p = 0.002) during the course of the study. Participants maintained aerobic activities, however resistance and balance exercise levels decreased non-significantly. The likelihood of falling was higher at the end of the study compared to the first timepoint (odds ratio 1.93, 95% CI 0.94 to 3.94; p = 0.07). Results of this study indicate that despite maintenance of leg strength there was an increase in medio-lateral sway over a relatively short time frame, with higher than expected increases in fall rates.
Keywords: accidental falls; exercise; physical activity accidental falls; exercise; physical activity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bird, M.-L.; Pittaway, J.K.; Cuisick, I.; Rattray, M.; Ahuja, K.D.K. Age-Related Changes in Physical Fall Risk Factors: Results from a 3 Year Follow-up of Community Dwelling Older Adults in Tasmania, Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 5989-5997.

AMA Style

Bird M-L, Pittaway JK, Cuisick I, Rattray M, Ahuja KDK. Age-Related Changes in Physical Fall Risk Factors: Results from a 3 Year Follow-up of Community Dwelling Older Adults in Tasmania, Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(11):5989-5997.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bird, Marie-Louise; Pittaway, Jane K.; Cuisick, Isobel; Rattray, Megan; Ahuja, Kiran D.K. 2013. "Age-Related Changes in Physical Fall Risk Factors: Results from a 3 Year Follow-up of Community Dwelling Older Adults in Tasmania, Australia." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 11: 5989-5997.



Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert