Pain is not associated with fall risk in older adults after age 80 years

  • Gálvez-Barrón C & al.
  • BMC Geriatr
  • 14 ene. 2020

  • de Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Having moderate-to-severe pain and taking drugs tied to increased fall risk are associated with a significantly greater likelihood of recurrent falls in patients ages 65-79 years.
  • This risk was not seen in those age ≥80 years, even after controlling for impaired balance, muscle weakness, and depression.

Why this matters

  • Up to 75% of older people report pain, which is a potentially modifiable factor for falls prevention in this population.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study (n=630).
    • "Older" group: age 65-79 years, n=207.
    • "Oldest" group: ≥80 years, n=423.
  • The recruitment and follow-up periods of the cohort were during the years 2007-2009.
  • Funding: European Commission.

Key results

  • Pain was reported by 114 (51.35%) older and 286 (52%) oldest participants.
  • During follow-up, 6.93% of the older group and 12.06% of the oldest group reported ≥2 falls.
  • In the older group, pain was associated with recurrent falls: OR, 1.47 (P=.017).
  • Participants with the most severe pain (face pain scale, 6) vs those without pain had increased falls risk: OR, 10.16.
  • In the oldest group, the pain was not associated with recurrent falls.

Limitations

  • Observational study.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm