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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


REYES-ORTIZ, Carlos A. et al. Medical falls among older adults in Latin American cities. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2020, vol.22, n.5, e204.  Epub May 12, 2021. ISSN 0124-0064.


To estimate the prevalence and risk factors for falls requiring medical attention, referred as medical falls, in community-dwelling persons aged >60 years. Methods A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using information from the Health, Well-Being, and Aging ("SABE") Study in Latin America and the Caribbean (7 cities), as well as from the SABE Bogota study (pooled sample of 8 cities n=12,487). Falls that occurred during a past 12-month period were considered and then noted if required medical treatment because of the fall.


The weighted prevalence of medical falls across the eight surveys ranged from 6.0% to 11.3%. In weighted multivariate logistic regression analyses, potentially modifiable risk factors for medical falls include urinary incontinence (OR=1.51 95% CI 1.18-1.92), high depressive symptomatology (OR=1.53 95% CI 1.24-1.91), poor self-rated health (OR=1.35 95% CI 1.10-1.66) and activities of daily living limitations (OR=1.48 95% CI 1.16-1.87).


Based on our results, preventive measures targeting these risk factors may help to decrease the risk for medical falls among older adults in Latin America.

Keywords : Accidental falls; aged; epidemiology; health services (source: MeSH, NLM).

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