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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910


FHON, Jack Roberto Silva et al. Prevalence of falls among frail elderly adults. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.2, pp.266-273. ISSN 0034-8910.


To measure the prevalence in frail elderly people, their consequences and associated demographic factors.


This was an epidemiological and cross-sectional study with a probabilistic sample composed of 240 elderly people (≥ 60 years) living in Ribeirão Preto, Sao Paulo state. Data were collected between November 2010 and February 2011, through a questionnaire that included socio-demographic data, fall assessment and the Edmonton Frailty Scale. Uni-variate and bivariate analyses were carried out.


The mean age was 73.5 (± 8.4), with higher ages among women; 25% of the interviewees were aged 80 or older; 11.3% presented moderate frailty and 9.6% severe frailty. The prevalence of falls in frail elderly participants corresponded to 38.6%; higher levels were found among women and younger subjects (60 to 79 years old); 26.8% were victims of 1 to 2 falls, 27.1% of which occurred in the bedroom, 84.7% fell from their own height, 55.9% lost their balance, 54.2% suffered scratches and 78% were afraid of suffering a new fall. Higher fall prevalence levels were found in frail elderly 1,973 (1,094-3,556) compared to non-frail.


We highlight the importance of addressing the health of frail elderly people, especially regarding the risk of falls, as well as of increasing investment in prevention strategies of these syndromes and in the formation of train like a virgin ed human resources to better care for this population.

Keywords : Aged; Frail Elderly; Accidental Falls; Risk Factors; Socioeconomic Factors; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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