A cross sectional study on the prevalence and risk factors of fall among the elderly in an urban slum in Chennai

R. Senthil Kumar, Kamali Ravindran


Background: Falls are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly people. Falls lead to multiple medical and psychological problems in the elderly. Aim was to study the prevalence of falls among the elderly and to find the associated risk factors for falls among the elderly living in an urban slum in Chennai.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among elderly population over 60 years and above, in an urban slum area. About 150 elderly were selected using simple random sampling method, using the voters list as the sampling frame. A pretested questionnaire was administered to collect information about falls. In statistical analysis univariate and multivariate logistic regression was employed using SPSS version 22.

Results: Of the 150 elderly persons studied, prevalence of falls rate is 35.3% (95% CI 28.13 to 43.26). Of them 64.1% had one episode of fall and 35.8% had recurrent falls. The prevalence of fall among persons with comorbidities like hypertension or diabetes was 39.3% and 36.1% respectively .The rate of fall among those using a walking stick was 58.3%, having tremors was 15% and having abnormal gait was 40%. The risk factors found to be significantly associated in univariate analysis were gender and presence of tremors (p<0.05). In multivariate analysis none of the factors showed statistical significance.

Conclusions: Falls are very common among elderly. It is utmost important to prevent the falls by making necessary environmental modifications and following healthy lifestyle.



Falls, Elderly, Risk factors, Urban slum

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