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Gait, gait variability and the risk of multiple incident falls in older people: a population-based study


Callisaya, M and Blizzard, L and Schmidt, MD and Martin, KL and McGinley, JL and Sanders, LM and Srikanth, Vk, Gait, gait variability and the risk of multiple incident falls in older people: a population-based study, Age and Ageing, 40, (4) pp. 481-487. ISSN 0002-0729 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 British Geriatrics Society

DOI: doi:10.1093/ageing/afr055


Background: it is uncertain as to which measures of gait best predict those who are likely to fall. Our aim was to investigate the associations of gait and gait variability measures with incident falls risk. Methods: individuals aged 60–86 years (n = 412) were randomly selected from the Tasmanian electoral roll. Average gait and gait variability measures were collected on a computerised walkway. Falls were recorded prospectively over 12 months. Log multinomial regression was used to estimate the relative risk of single and multiple falls associated with gait measures. Covariates included age, sex, sensorimotor and cognitive measures, mood and medications. Results: in this population-based study greater intra-individual variability in step length and double-support phase were linearly associated with increased risk of multiple falls (P = 0.04). Non-linear associations with multiple falls were found for gait speed P = 0.002, cadence P = 0.004 and step time variability P = 0.03. None of the gait measures predicted risk of single falls. 481 Gait, gait variability and the risk of multiple incident falls in older people Downloaded from at University of Tasmania Library on June 3, 2012 Conclusion: there is an increased risk of multiple falls, but not single falls, in older people with poorer gait. Specific measures of gait and gait variability seem to confer this risk and may be amenable to interventions designed to reduce the risk of multiple falls in older people.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gait; falls; older people; population-based; elderly
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Callisaya, M (Dr Michele Callisaya)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Schmidt, MD (Dr Michael Schmidt)
UTAS Author:Martin, KL (Dr Kara Martin)
UTAS Author:Srikanth, Vk (Dr Velandai Srikanth)
ID Code:77990
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:193
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2012-06-12
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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