The prevalence of severe falls and associated factors among elderly Brazilians: Results of the 2013 National Health Survey

Juleimar Soares Coelho de Amorim Mary Anne Nascimento Souza Juliana Vaz de Melo Mambrini Maria Fernanda Lima-Costa Sérgio Viana Peixoto About the authors

Abstract

The scope of this study was to estimate the prevalence and factors associated with severe falls among elderly Brazilians. It included a transversal study of 10,537 elderly individuals who participated in the National Health Survey (2013). The dependent variable was a report of severe falls in the past year. The independent variables comprised, hierarchically, socio-demographic factors, behavior, health status and functional capacity. Logistic regression was used to obtain the odds ratio (OR) and the confidence interval (95%CI), using the 13.1 Stata program. The prevalence of severe falls was 7.5% (95%CI: 6.7-8.3) and the highest odds were among women (OR: 1.35; 95%CI: 1.03-1.77), 70 to 79 years of age (OR: 1.47; 95%CI: 1.12-1.95) and 80 years and above (OR: 2.00; 95%CI: 1.46-2.74), living without a spouse/partner (OR: 1.37; 95%CI: 1.08-1.74), sedentary in leisure time (OR: 1.55; 95%CI: 1.06-2.26), having multimorbities (OR: 1.54; 95%CI: 1.19-2.00), sleeping difficulties (OR: 2.18; 95%CI: 1.65-2.88), limitations in daily activities (OR: 2.25; 95%CI 1.63 -3.10) and use of a walking aid (OR: 1.89; 95%CI: 1.30-2.73). The prevalence of severe falls was high and multifactorial, enabling the identification of profiles of greater vulnerability, which should be considered in public policies for specific interventions.

Key words:
Accidental falls; Elderly persons; Health surveys

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