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Multifactorial Assessment of Risk of Falling in 753 Post-Menopausal Women: A Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study by the Italian Group for the Study of Metabolic Bone Diseases

Authors Iolascon G, de Sire A, Calafiore D, Benedetti MG, Cisari C, Letizia Mauro G, Migliaccio S, Nuti R, Resmini G, Gonnelli S, Moretti A

Received 14 April 2020

Accepted for publication 5 June 2020

Published 7 July 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1077—1084


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Giovanni Iolascon,1 Alessandro de Sire,1– 3 Dario Calafiore,1,4 Maria Grazia Benedetti,5 Carlo Cisari,2,6 Giulia Letizia Mauro,7 Silvia Migliaccio,8 Ranuccio Nuti,9 Giuseppina Resmini,10 Stefano Gonnelli,9 Antimo Moretti1

1Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties and Dentistry, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy; 2Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine, Department of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont “A. Avogadro”, Novara, Italy; 3Rehabilitation Unit, “Mons L. Novarese” Hospital, Vercelli, Moncrivello, Italy; 4Section of Neuromotor Rehabilitation, Department of Neuroscience, ASST Carlo Poma, Mantova, Italy; 5Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit, IRCCS-Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy; 6Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit, University Hospital “Maggiore della Carità”, Novara, Italy; 7Department of Surgical and Oncology Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; 8Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Section of Health Sciences, University of Rome, Foro Italico, Rome, Italy; 9Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena, Siena, Italy; 10Section of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Treviglio-Caravaggio Hospital, Treviglio, Bergamo, Italy

Correspondence: Alessandro de Sire
Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine, Department of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont “A. Avogadro”, Viale Piazza D’Armi 1, Novara 28100, Italy
Tel +3903213734800
Email [email protected]

Objective: To assess physical performance, number of falls, previous fragility fractures, and ongoing pharmacological therapy in a cohort of post-menopausal women, according to their risk of falling.
Methods: In this multicenter cross-sectional study, we recruited in a 3-year period (May 2016 to April 2019), women aged > 60 years referred to seven Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism Outpatient Services of the Italian Group for the Study of Metabolic Bone Diseases. The study population was divided into three groups according to the risk of falling, assessed through the Elderly Fall Screening Test (EFST): low risk (EFST score=0– 1); moderate risk (EFST=2– 3); high risk (EFST=4– 5). Outcome measures were: 4-meter gait speed (4MGS); unipedal stance time (UST); number of falls in the previous year; previous fragility fractures; ongoing pharmacological therapy.
Results: We analyzed 753 women (mean aged 70.1± 9.2 years): 378 (50.2%) at low risk of falling, 247 (32.8%) at moderate risk, and 128 (17.0%) at high risk. 4MGS and UST resulted as pathological in the 93.9% and 99.2%, respectively, of women at high risk. There were significant differences among groups for both outcomes (p< 0.001). There was also a significant difference among groups (p< 0.001) in terms of previous falls and fragility fractures. Lastly, there were significant differences (p< 0.05) among groups in using antihypertensive drugs, antiplatelet agents, anticoagulants, antidepressants, anti-osteoporotic drugs, and vitamin D, and/or calcium supplementation.
Conclusion: Physical performance, prevalence of falls and fragility fractures, and an assessment of pharmacological therapy should be investigated in post-menopausal women because of their significant correlation with risk of falling.

Keywords: accidental falls, osteoporosis, walking speed, fractures, bone, rehabilitation

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