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Rates and factors associated with falls in older European Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, African-Americans, and Hispanics

Authors Vieira ER, Tappen R, Engstrom G, da Costa BR

Received 25 June 2015

Accepted for publication 6 August 2015

Published 23 October 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 1705—1710

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S91120

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Supriya Swarnkar

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Edgar Ramos Vieira,1,2 Ruth Tappen,3 Gabriella Engstrom,3 Bruno R da Costa1

1Department of Physical Therapy, 2Department of Neuroscience, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA; 3Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA

Purpose: To evaluate rates and factors associated with older adult falls in different ethnic groups.
Participants and methods: Information on demographics, medical and falls history, and pain and physical activity levels was collected from 550 community-dwelling older adults (75±9 years old, 222 European Americans, 109 Afro-Caribbeans, 106 African-Americans, and 113 Hispanics).
Results: Taking medications for anxiety (risk ratio [RR] =1.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.1–2.0), having incontinence (RR =1.4, 95% CI =1.1–1.8, P=0.013), back pain (RR =1.4, 95% CI =1.0–1.8), feet swelling (RR =1.3, 95% CI =1.1–1.7), and age ≥75 years (RR =1.3, 95% CI =1.0–1.6) were associated with falls. The associations were stronger for Afro-Caribbeans, but they presented approximately 40% lower prevalence of falls than the other groups.
Conclusion: Taking anxiety medication, incontinence, back pain, feet swelling, and age ≥75 years were associated with falls, and Afro-Caribbeans presented lower prevalence of falls. These findings need to be taken into consideration in clinical interventions in aging.

Keywords: ethnicity, falls, risks, community dwelling, older adults

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