Physical performance, bone and joint diseases, and incidence of falls in Japanese men and women: A longitudinal cohort study

Department of Clinical Motor System Medicine, 22nd Century Medical and Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8655, Japan, .
Osteoporosis International (Impact Factor: 4.17). 03/2012; 24(2). DOI: 10.1007/s00198-012-1967-0
Source: PubMed


This study examined whether physical performance and bone and joint diseases were risk factors for falls in 745 men and 1,470 women from the Research on Osteoarthritis/osteoporosis Against Disability (ROAD) study (mean, 69.7 years). Slower walking speed was a risk factor for falls in men and women. Knee pain was a risk factor for falls in women. INTRODUCTION: The objective of the present study was to clarify the incidence of falls by sex and age and to determine whether physical performance and bone and joint diseases are risk factors for falls in men and women using a large-scale population-based cohort of the ROAD. METHODS: A total of 745 men and 1,470 women were analyzed in the present study (mean age, 68.5 years). A questionnaire assessed the number of falls during 3 years of follow-up. Grip strength and walking speed were measured at baseline. Knee and lumbar spine radiographs were read by Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) grade; radiographic knee osteoarthritis and lumbar spondylosis were defined as KL = 3 or 4. Knee and lower back pain were estimated by an interview. RESULTS: During a mean follow-up of 3 years, 141 (18.9 %) men and 362 (24.6 %) women reported at least one fall. Slower walking speed was a risk factor for falls in men (0.1 m/s decrease; odds ratio [OR], 1.15; 95 % confidence interval [CI], 1.09-1.23) and women (0.1 m/s decrease; OR, 1.05; 95 % CI, 1.01-1.10). Knee pain was also a risk factor for falls (OR, 1.38; 95 % CI, 1.03-1.84) in women, but lower back pain was not. CONCLUSION: We examined the incidence and risk factors for falls in men and women. Slower walking speed was a risk factor for falls in men and women. Knee pain was a risk factor for falls in women.

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    • "We found that the component reduced mobility was a prominent predictor of falling. This is in accordance with previous findings, where several studies have revealed a relationship between low walking speed and falls in the elderly [43,44]. Knee pain and lower back pain have also been significantly associated with multiple falls, predominantly in women [44,45]. "
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