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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


LEIVA, Ana María et al. Factors associated with falls in older adults in chile. Analysis of the National Health Survey 2009-2010. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2019, vol.147, n.7, pp.877-886. ISSN 0034-9887.


A decrease in functional capacity due to ageing is one of the main risk factors for falls in older people.


To investigate factors associated with falls in Chilean older adults.

Material and Methods:

We analyzed the self-reports of falls of 1,334 people aged ≥ 60 years who answered the National Health Survey 2009-2010. Falls during the last 12 months were recorded. Lifestyle, socio-demographic and health status were analyzed. A Poisson regression with robust variance estimates was performed to identify factors associated with falls.


Falls during the preceding year were reported by 37% of respondents (95% confidence intervals (CI): 32-42]. Fall frequency was higher in women (Prevalence ratio (PR):1.30 [95% CI:1.11; 1.53], p < 0.01) and those aged ≥ 75 years (PR:1.29 [95% CI:1.04; 1.61], p = 0.02). Hearing impairment (PR: 1.31 [95% CI: 1.07; 1.61], p < 0.01), impaired vision (PR:1.46 [95% CI:1.20; 1.77], p < 0.01), low self-reported wellbeing (PR: 1.41 [95% CI: 1.03; 1.94], p = 0.03) and disability (PR: 1.54 [95% CI:1.32; 1.79], p < 0.01) were associated with falls. However, multimorbidity (having ≥ 3 diseases) was negatively associated with falls (PR: 0.79 [95% CI: 0.63; 0.99], p = 0.04).


Among older people, female sex, being aged > 75 years and having disability, hearing or vision impairment are risk factors for falls.

Keywords : Accidental Falls; Aged; Hearing Loss; Vision Impairment.

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