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Neither leg muscle strength nor balance are associated with the incidence of falls in middle-aged women: A 5-year population-based prospective study


Wang, M and Wu, F and Callisaya, ML and Jones, G and Winzenberg, TM, Neither leg muscle strength nor balance are associated with the incidence of falls in middle-aged women: A 5-year population-based prospective study, Journals of Gerontology. Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences pp. 1-7. ISSN 1079-5006 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.

DOI: doi:10.1093/gerona/glab122


Background: Muscle strength and balance are major modifiable factors of falls in older adults, but their associations with falls in middle-aged adults are under investigated. We aimed to examine the association of baseline and change in leg muscle strength (LMS) and balance with the incidence of falls in a cohort of middle-aged women.

Methods: This was a five-year follow-up of a population-based sample of 273 women aged 36-57 years at baseline (2011-2012). Data on LMS (by dynamometer) and balance (timed up and go test [TUG], step test [ST], functional reach test [FRT], and lateral reach test [LRT]) were obtained at baseline and five years later (2017-2018). After five years, falls were recorded monthly for one year by questionnaire (2017-2019). Negative binomial/Poisson and log binomial regressions were used as appropriate to assess associations of baseline and change in LMS and balance with any falls, injurious falls and multiple falls.

Results: Over one-year, 115 participants (42%) reported at least one fall. Neither baseline nor 5-year change in LMS and balance measures were associated with the risk of any falls, injurious falls, or multiple falls five years later, with or without adjusting for confounders at baseline (incidence rate ratio/relative risk ranging from 0.85 to 1.19, 0.90 to 1.20, and 0.82 to 1.36, respectively; P>0.05 for all).

Conclusions: Baseline or change in LMS and balance measures are not associated with incident falls among middle-aged women. The contributions of environmental and other intrinsic factors such as chronic conditions and gait/mobility problems need to be investigated.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accidental falls, functional mobility, middle age, predicting falls, risk factors
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Motor control
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Wang, M (Miss Mengmeng Wang)
UTAS Author:Wu, F (Dr Feitong Wu)
UTAS Author:Callisaya, ML (Dr Michele Callisaya)
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
UTAS Author:Winzenberg, TM (Professor Tania Winzenberg)
ID Code:145525
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-07-26
Last Modified:2021-09-01

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