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Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 31;

Stroke and Falls—Clash of the Two Titans in Geriatrics

Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
Ageing and Age-Associated Disorders Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ralf Lobmann
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 20 November 2016 / Accepted: 26 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stroke in Ageing)
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Both stroke and falls are common conditions affecting the older adult. Despite stroke being considered a well-established major risk factor for falls, there remains no evidence for effective prevention strategies for falls specifically for stroke survivors. Previous observational studies evaluating falls risk factors in stroke have mainly been uncontrolled and found similar risk factors for stroke populations compared to general older populations. Specific risk factors, however, are likely to play a greater role in stroke survivors including unilateral weakness, hemisensory or visual neglect, impaired coordination, visual field defects, perceptual difficulties and cognitive issues. In addition, individuals with stroke are also more likely to have other associated risk factors for falls including diabetes, falls risk increasing drugs, atrial fibrillation, and other cardiovascular risk factors. While anticoagulation is associated with increased risk of intracranial bleeding after a fall, the risk of suffering a further stroke due to atrial fibrillation outweigh the risk of bleeding from a recurrent fall. Similarly, while blood pressure lowering medications may be linked to orthostatic hypotension which in turn increases the risk of falls, the benefit of good blood pressure control in terms of secondary stroke prevention outweighs the risk of falls. Until better evidence is available, the suggested management approach should then be based on local resources, and published evidence for fall prevention. Multicomponent exercise and individually tailored multifactorial interventions should still be considered as published evidence evaluating the above have included stroke patients in their study population. View Full-Text
Keywords: stroke; accidental falls; aged stroke; accidental falls; aged

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Tan, K.M.; Tan, M.P. Stroke and Falls—Clash of the Two Titans in Geriatrics. Geriatrics 2016, 1, 31.

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