Cognitive function modifies the effect of physiological function on the risk of multiple falls-a population-based study

Martin, Kara L, Blizzard, Leigh, Srikanth, Velandai K, Wood, Amanda G, Thomson, Russell, Sanders, Lauren M and Callisaya, Michele L 2013, Cognitive function modifies the effect of physiological function on the risk of multiple falls-a population-based study, Journals of gerontology: series A, vol. 68, no. 9, pp. 1091-1097, doi: 10.1093/gerona/glt010.

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Title Cognitive function modifies the effect of physiological function on the risk of multiple falls-a population-based study
Author(s) Martin, Kara L
Blizzard, Leigh
Srikanth, Velandai K
Wood, Amanda GORCID iD for Wood, Amanda G orcid.org/0000-0002-1537-6858
Thomson, Russell
Sanders, Lauren M
Callisaya, Michele L
Journal name Journals of gerontology: series A
Volume number 68
Issue number 9
Start page 1091
End page 1097
Total pages 7
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2013-09
ISSN 1079-5006
1758-535X
Keyword(s) Accidental falls
Cognition
Sensorimotor
Risk factors
Elderly
Population based
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Geriatrics & Gerontology
Gerontology
Summary Background. There is a poor understanding of the interplay between cognitive and physiological functions in leading to falls. We hypothesized that poorer physiological function would modify the effect of poorer cognitive function on increased risk of falling in older people.Methods. A range of cognitive (executive function/attention, memory, processing speed, and visuospatial ability) and physiological functions (vision, proprioception, sway, leg strength, reaction time) were measured using standardized tests in 386 randomly selected adults aged 60-86. Incident falls were recorded over 12 months. Log-multinomial regression was used to model the relationships and test for interactions between cognition and physiological function in explaining the risk of single or multiple falls.Results. Overall, 94 people (24.4%) had a single fall, and 78 (20.2%) had multiple falls. No significant associations were observed between cognitive function and the risk of single falls. The risk of multiple falls was increased with poorer function in Stroop dot time (RR = 1.03, 95% CI [1.01, 1.05], p =. 002) and Stroop word time (RR = 1.02 [1.01, 1.03], p =. 001) and reduced with better function in Category Fluency (RR = 0.94 [0.91, 0.98], p =. 001) and visuospatial function (RR = 0.95 [0.92, 0.98], p <. 001). These associations were amplified by the presence of greater body sway, less ambulatory physical activity, slower reaction time and gait speed, weaker muscle strength, and poorer visual contrast (p for interactions <.05).Conclusions. Preventing falls due to physiological impairments in community-dwelling older people may need to be tailored based on cognitive impairment, a key factor in their inability to compensate for physical decline.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/gerona/glt010
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1103 Clinical Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, The Author
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30128647

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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