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Fall-Associated Difficulty with Activities of Daily Living in Functionally Independent Individuals Aged 65 to 69 in the United States: A Cohort Study

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Sekaran, Nishant K., HwaJung Choi, Rodney A. Hayward, and Kenneth M. Langa. 2013. "Fall-Associated Difficulty with Activities of Daily Living in Functionally Independent Individuals Aged 65 to 69 in the United States: A Cohort Study." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 61(1): 96-100.

Objectives: To determine whether falling would be a marker for future difficulty with activities of daily (ADLs) that would vary according to fall frequency and associated injury. Design: Longitudinal analysis. Setting: Community. Participants: Nationally representative cohort of 2,020 community-living, functionally independent older adults aged 65 to 69 at baseline followed from 1998 to 2008. Measurements: ADL difficulty. Results: Experiencing one fall with injury (odds ratio (OR) = 1.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.29-2.48), at least two falls without injury (OR = 2.36, 95% CI = 1.80-3.09), or at least two falls with at least one injury (OR = 3.75, 95% CI = 2.55-5.53) in the prior 2 years was independently associated with higher rates of ADL difficulty after adjustment for sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical covariates. Conclusion: Falling is an important marker for future ADL difficulty in younger, functionally independent older adults. Individuals who fall frequently or report injury are at highest risk.

DOI:10.1111/jgs.12071 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3807864. (Pub Med Central)

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