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Prevalence of falls and their association with cognitive impairment and dementia were assessed in an Italian rural elderly ( > 64 years) population. All subjects were interviewed in their own homes by means of a twophase design. Cognitive impairment and dementia were diagnosed according to the DSM IV criteria. Of the 968 interviewed subjects, 116 (12.0%) reported at least one fall in the previous year; 41.4% of this group reported that they had fallen at least twice. Falls occurred more frequently (p < 0.01) in women (14.6%) than in men (8.6%) and they increased significantly with age in men (p < 0.01). The prevalence of falls was significantly higher in demented (23.1 %, pO.OOl ) and cognitively impaired patients (16.3%, pO.OOl) than in normal subjects (7.7%). After adjustment for age and sex, the odds ratios for falls were 2.1 (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.0) in demented patients and 2.2 (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.4) in cognitively impaired patients.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Italian Journal of Neurological Sciences

Publication Date

01/12/1997

Volume

18