Objectives We investigated whether calcaneal quantitative ultrasound (QUS-C) is a feasible tool for predicting the incidence of falls.
Design Prospective epidemiological cohort study.
Setting Community-dwelling people sampled in central western Taiwan.
Participants A cohort of community-dwelling people who were ≥40 years old (men: 524; women: 676) in 2009–2010. Follow-up questionnaires were completed by 186 men and 257 women in 2012.
Methods Structured questionnaires and broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) data were obtained in 2009–2010 using QUS-C, and follow-up surveys were done in a telephone interview in 2012. Using a binary logistic regression model, the risk factors associated with a new fall during follow-up were analysed with all significant variables from the bivariate comparisons and theoretically important variables.
Primary outcome measures The incidence of falls was determined when the first new fall occurred during the follow-up period. The mean follow-up time was 2.83 years.
Results The total incidence of falls was 28.0 per 1000 person-years for the ≥40 year old group (all participants), 23.3 per 1000 person-years for the 40–70 year old group, and 45.6 per 1000 person-years for the ≥70 year old group. Using multiple logistic regression models, the independent factors were current smoking, living alone, psychiatric drug usage and lower BUA (OR 0.93; 95% CI 0.88 to 0.99, p<0.05) in the ≥70 year old group.
Conclusions The incidence of falls was highest in the ≥70 year old group. Using QUS-C-derived BUA is feasible for predicting the incidence of falls in community-dwelling elderly people aged ≥70 years.
- calcaneal quantitative ultrasound
- living alone
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Contributors L-CO wrote the paper. C-HW wrote and revised the paper. L-CO and C-HW had the idea for the study and were involved in all aspects of this study. L-CO recruited the study participants. Y-FC, J-CC and C-SC helped interpret the data and made statistical suggestions. Z-JS, C-HW, T-HC and R-ML coordinated the study affairs and budget. All authors reviewed and approved the final version of this manuscript.
Funding National Cheng Kung University Hospital (NCKUH) (grant number: NCKUH-10102043).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Institute Review Board of National Cheng Kung University Hospital (A-ER-100-347).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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