Volume 61, Issue 1 p. 96-100
Brief Report

Fall-Associated Difficulty with Activities of Daily Living in Functionally Independent Individuals Aged 65 to 69 in the United States: A Cohort Study

Nishant K. Sekaran MD, MSc

Corresponding Author

Nishant K. Sekaran MD, MSc

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Address correspondence to Nishant K. Sekaran, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, 3119 Taubman Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, SPC 5376, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail: [email protected]Search for more papers by this author
Hwajung Choi PhD

Hwajung Choi PhD

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Rodney A. Hayward MD

Rodney A. Hayward MD

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Kenneth M. Langa MD, PhD

Kenneth M. Langa MD, PhD

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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First published: 11 January 2013
Citations: 54

Abstract

Objectives

To determine whether falling would be a marker for future difficulty with activities of daily (ADLs) that would vary according to fall frequency and associated injury.

Design

Longitudinal analysis.

Setting

Community.

Participants

Nationally representative cohort of 2,020 community-living, functionally independent older adults aged 65 to 69 at baseline followed from 1998 to 2008.

Measurements

ADL difficulty.

Results

Experiencing one fall with injury (odds ratio (OR) = 1.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.29–2.48), at least two falls without injury (OR = 2.36, 95% CI = 1.80–3.09), or at least two falls with at least one injury (OR = 3.75, 95% CI = 2.55–5.53) in the prior 2 years was independently associated with higher rates of ADL difficulty after adjustment for sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical covariates.

Conclusion

Falling is an important marker for future ADL difficulty in younger, functionally independent older adults. Individuals who fall frequently or report injury are at highest risk.