Assessment of factors that increase risk of falling in older women by four different clinical methods
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Background Women aged 65 years and over are at increased risk of falling. Falls in this age group increase the risk of morbidity and mortality. Aims The aim of the present study was to find the most common factors that increase the risk of falling in older women, by using four different assessment methods. Methods 682 women, who attended a geriatric outpatient clinic and underwent comprehensive geriatric assessment, were included in the study. History of falling last year, the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment (POMA), and 4-m walking speed test were carried out on all patients. Results The mean age (SD) of patients were 74.4 (8.5) years. 31.5% of women had a history of falling in the last year. 11%, 36.5%, and 33.3% of patients had a falling risk according to POMA, TUG and 4-m walking speed test, respectively. We identified the following risk factors that increase the risk of falling, according to these four methods: urinary incontinence, dizziness and imbalance, using a walking stick, frailty, dynapenia, higher Charlson Comorbidity Index and Geriatric Depression Scale score, and lower basic and instrumental activities of daily living scores (p < 0.05). We found a significant correlation between all the assessment methods (p < 0.001). Conclusion There is a strong relationship between fall risk and dizziness, using a walking stick, dynapenia, high number of comorbidities, low functionality, and some geriatric syndromes such as depression, frailty, and urinary incontinence in older women. Therefore, older women should routinely be screened for these risk factors.