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Higher incidence of falls in winter among older people in Hong Kong

Yeung, Pui-Yee, Chau, Pui-Hing, Woo, Jean, Yim, Veronica Wai-Ting and Rainer, Timothy Hudson 2011. Higher incidence of falls in winter among older people in Hong Kong. Journal of Clinical Gerontology and Geriatrics 2 (1) , pp. 13-16. 10.1016/j.jcgg.2011.02.002

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Purpose This study aims at determining whether there is a seasonal pattern of falls among older people in Hong Kong and exploring the possible mechanisms underlying the seasonal pattern. Methods The falls data were obtained from a 1-year prospective study conducted in 200–2007 which includes all the older people aged 60 years or more with a fall presenting to Accident and Emergency Department of a regional hospital in Hong Kong. The occurrence of falls among the 12 months was recorded and was used to correlate with weather data, including air temperature, relative humidity, and rainfall, in each month during the study period. Analyses were also carried out to examine if there was any signification association between occurrence of falls in four seasons and various factors, including age, gender and living arrangement of the fallers, location of falls, and predisposing factors for their falls. Results There was a peak in occurrence of falls among the older people during winter. A significant correlation was found between a higher number of falls and lower air temperature and lower relative humidity. Age, gender, and location of falls for the fallers were not associated with the peak seasons (winter and autumn) and nonpeak seasons (spring and summer). Significantly larger proportion of falls occurred among people living in old age home during the peak season compared with the nonpeak season. Higher proportion of fallers during the peak season had lower limbs weakness as compared with that in nonpeak season. Multivariate logistic regression showed that only living arrangement and risky behavior were significantly associated with fall occurrence in peak season. Conclusion A higher incidence of falls in winter among older people in Hong Kong was observed and possible mechanisms contributing to this seasonal pattern were explored. Further studies on intervention to minimize its impact on risk of falling among older people are indicated.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aged; Elderly; Falls; Seasons; Weather
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2210-8335
Date of Acceptance: 23 January 2011
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:17

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