Cognitive impairment, dementia and prevalence of falls in a rural elderly population
Casini AR., Ferretti C., Santini M., Pezzella FR., Prencipe M.
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.