Prospective association between physical activity and falls in community-dwelling older women

Heesch, Kristiann, Byles, Julie, & Brown, Wendy (2008) Prospective association between physical activity and falls in community-dwelling older women. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health: an international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers in all areas of epidemiology, 62(5), pp. 421-426.

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Abstract Objective: To explore associations between physical activity and risk of falls and broken or fractured bones in community-dwelling older women. Design, setting and participants: This was a prospective observational survey with 3- and 6-year follow-ups. The sample included 8562 healthy, community-dwelling women, aged 70-75 years in 1996, who completed surveys as participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Outcomes were reports of a fall to the ground, injury from a fall, and broken or fractured bones in 1999 and 2002. The main predictor variable was physical activity level in 1996, categorized based on weekly frequency as none/very low, low, moderate, high, and very high. Covariates were demographic and health-related variables. Logistic regression models were computed separately for each outcome in 1999 and 2002. Main results: In multivariable models, very high physical activity was associated with decreased risk of a fall in 1999 (odds ratio 0.67, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.93) and in 2002 (odds ratio 0.62, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.92). High/very high physical activity was associated with decreased risk of broken or fractured bones in 2002 (odds ratio 0.64, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.96). No significant association was found between physical activity and injury from a fall. Conclusions: The results suggest that at least daily moderate to vigorous physical activity is required for the primary prevention of falls to the ground and broken or fractured bones in women aged 70-75 years.

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40 citations in Scopus
32 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 44514
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: accidental falls; exercise; fractures, bone; longitudinal studies; risk factors
DOI: 10.1136/jech.2007.064147
ISSN: 0143-005X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 BMJ Publishing Group
Deposited On: 24 Aug 2011 22:12
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 01:18

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