PURPOSE: It was to evaluate the frequency and the risk factors of falls in early postmenopausal women. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 358 women (age: 45-65 years and amenorrhea >12 months) with time since menopause <10 years. Exclusion criteria were: neurological or musculoskeletal disorders, vestibulopathies, uncorrected visual deficit, uncontrolled hypertension and postural hypotension, or drug use (sedative and hypnotic agents). A fall was identified as an unexpected unintentional change in position which causes an individual to remain in a lower level in relation to the initial position. The history of self-reported falls during the previous 24 months, and clinical and anthropometric data (body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC)) and bone densitometric measures were analyzed. For statistical analysis, c² trend test and the logistic regression method (odds ratio (OR)) were used for the comparison between groups of women with and without falls. RESULTS: Of the 358 women, 48.0% (172/358) had a history of falls and 17.4% (30/172) had fractures. The fall occurred indoors (at home) in 58.7% (101/172). The mean age was 53.7±6.5 years, time since menopause 5.8±3.5 years, BMI 28.3±4.6 kg/m² and WC 89.0±11.4 cm. There were differences as the occurrence of smoking and diabetes, with greater frequency among fallers vs. non-fallers, 25.6 versus 16.1% and 12.8 versus 5.9%, respectively (p<0.05). By evaluating the risk of falls in the presence of influential variables, it was observed that risk increased with current smoking status (OR 1.93; 95%CI 1.01-3.71), whereas other clinical and anthropometric variables did not influence this risk. CONCLUSIONS: In early postmenopausal women there was higher frequency of falls. Current smoking was clinical indicators of risk for falls. With the recognition of factors for falling, preventive measures become important, as the orientation of abolishing smoking.
Menopause; Accidental falls; Smoking; Post menopause; Estrogen replacement therapy; Risk factors