Which Types of Activities Are Associated With Risk of Recurrent Falling in Older Persons?

G.M.E.E. Peeters, L.M. Verweij, N.M. van Schoor, M.A.G.M. Pijnappels, S.M.F. Pluijm, M. Visser, P. Lips

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Background.This study explored the associations between various types of activities, their underlying physical components, and recurrent falling in community-dwelling older persons.Methods.This study included 1,329 community-dwelling persons (≥65 years) of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). The time spent in walking, cycling, light and heavy household activities, and two sports was measured using the LASA Physical Activity Questionnaire (LAPAQ). Physical activity components included strength, intensity, mechanical strain, and turning. Time to second fall in a 6-month period was measured during 3 years with fall calendars. Cox proportional hazards models were adjusted for confounders and stratified for physical performance and sex in case of significant (p <. 10) interaction.Results.During 3 years, 325 (24.5%) persons became recurrent fallers. In women, doing light (hazard ratios [HRs] = 0.40, 95% confidence intervals [CIs] = 0.20-0.79) or heavy household activities (HR = 0.63, CI = 0.44-0.79) was associated with a decreased risk of recurrent falling. In persons with good physical performance, doing sports (HR = 1.56, CI = 1.07-2.28), high intensity (HR > 1.75, CI = 1.09-3.16), and high mechanical strain (HR = 1.70, CI = 1.01-2.83) activities was associated with an increased risk of recurrent falling.Conclusions.The results suggest that the relationship between physical activity and recurrent falling differs per type of activity and is modified by physical performance. Doing household activities was associated with a decreased risk of recurrent falling in women. In physically fit older persons, doing sports or activities with high intensity or mechanical strain demands was associated with an increased risk of recurrent falling. © 2010 The Author.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-750
JournalJournals of Gerontology. Series A: Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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