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Cadernos Saúde Coletiva

versão impressa ISSN 1414-462Xversão On-line ISSN 2358-291X

Resumo

CRUZ, Danielle Teles da et al. Association between cognitive ability and the occurrence of falls in elderly. Cad. saúde colet. [online]. 2015, vol.23, n.4, pp.386-393. ISSN 1414-462X.  https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-462X201500040139.

Introduction

Cognitive changes due to human aging process represent important conditions as they directly affect functionality and predispose subjects to falls.

Objective

To investigate the association between cognitive ability and falls in an elderly population and to characterize their profile.

Methodology

Cross-sectional study from the Health Survey project at Juiz de Fora, MG. The analyzed variables were calculated by applying the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and a semi-structured questionnaire containing questions on sociodemographic and falls occurence. We estimated the absolute and relative frequencies and used the chi-square (c2) to investigate the association between cognitive ability indicated by MMSE and falls, the significance level was 5%.

Results

462 elderly, mean age 71.03 (SD = 7.79) and 3.64 years of schooling (SD = 3.26), 64.8% female and 28.14% showed cognitive decline; frequency of falls in the group with cognitive impairment was 42% and there was an association between cognitive ability and falls (p = 0.043).

Conclusion

Elderly patients with cognitive impairment had a higher frequency of falls compared with general elderly population. This finding together with the association between cognitive impairment and falls, reinforce the need for preventive measures and new health practices with an emphasis on healthy aging.

Palavras-chave : aged; aging; cognition; accidental falls.

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