Falling is not just for older women: Support for pre-emptive prevention intervention before 60

Jennifer C. Nitz, N. L. Low Choy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study aimed to report falls and identify factors that might predict a fall in women aged between 40 and 80 years and thus provide evidence of earlier falls and need for morbidity preventive intervention. Design and participants: A prospective cohort study design over 5 years. Personal demographic data of age, co-morbidities, number of prescribed medications, falls, activity level and living situation were obtained at face-to-face interview. Height, weight, body mass index and postural stability were measured in participating women living independently in the community. Results: Women were categorized into age decade cohorts, with 463 remaining at the year 5 assessment. At baseline, 8% of the women in their forties, 14% in their fifties, 25% in their sixties and 40% in their seventies had fallen in the previous 12 months. Over the 5-year study period, 21% of women in their forties and fifties, 31% of women in their sixties and 47% in their seventies had fallen. Multiple fallers mostly comprised women in their sixties and seventies. Parametric modeling and the classification tree approach revealed age and number of co-morbidities to be most predictive of a fall. Women<60 years old had an increased risk of a fall by 8% and women>60 years an increased risk of a fall by 35% with every additional co-morbidity. Stability and other demographics were not predictive of falling. Conclusions: For women over 40 years old, the number of co-morbidities increased the risk of a fall. The falls risk escalated with additional co-morbidities if they were over 60 years. Preventive program participation to maintain good health beginning by the forties appears vital to prevent falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-466
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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