Published: 2019-05-24

Analysis of risk factors for falls in geriatric patients: a single institutional experience

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin, Asso Faraidoon Ali Amin, Saad Kazim Karim, Saad Suud Shwani, Raed Thandoon


Background: In elderly people, falls have been recognized as one of the major causes of disability and potentially preventable mortality. Authors analyzed the incidence of falls in elderly diabetic people who have been receiving insulin therapy versus those on oral hypoglycaemic agents (OHGAs).

Methods: This observational study was conducted at the department of neurology of Shorsh military general teaching hospital and its outpatients’ department, Iraq, from April 1st to September 30st, 2016. A total of 100 diabetic patients older than 65 years of age, who had a history of one or more falls, were included in the study. The duration of diabetes, mode of its treatment, and its complications all were analyzed in addition to the risk factors for falls.

Results: Females (n=57) outnumbered males (n=43) and the mean age of the patients was (71.2±3.6) years. Increasing patient’s age, long-standing diabetes, poor glycaemic control, insulin therapy, and polypharmacy (of 3 and more antidiabetic agents) were significantly and statistically encountered and associated parameters for the risk of falls. The presence of additional risk factors for falls (e.g., previous stroke, alcoholism, cardiac dysrhythmia, and osteoarthrosis) augmented this risk.

Conclusions: Diabetes and its treatment render older people more liable for falls. The longer duration of the disease and the higher patients’ age (which were the commonest risks) are irreversible and non-correctable parameters for falls. Further analytic studies are required to unveil the role of each risk factor authors have detected.


Diabetes, Elderly, Fall

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