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Period prevalence, risk factors and consequent injuries of falling among the Saudi elderly living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study
  1. Faisal Yousef Almegbel1,2,
  2. Ibrahim Muthyib Alotaibi1,2,
  3. Faisal Ahmed Alhusain1,2,
  4. Emad M Masuadi3,
  5. Salma Lafyan Al Sulami1,
  6. Amairah Fahad Aloushan1,
  7. Bashayer Ibrahim Almuqbil1
  1. 1 College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  2. 2 King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  3. 3 Research Unit, Medical Education Department, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Faisal Ahmed Alhusain; FaisalAAlhusain{at}


Objectives Approximately 28% to 35% of people aged 65 and over fall each year. The consequent injuries of falls are considered a major public health problem. Falls account for more than half of injury-related hospitalisations among old people. The aim of this study was to measure a 1-year period prevalence of falling among old people in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In addition, this study described the most common risk factors and consequent injuries of falls.

Setting and participants A cross-sectional survey was carried out in Riyadh, using a convenient sampling. The targeted population were Saudi citizens who were 60 years or above. Over a 6-month period, 1182 individuals were sampled (545 men and 637 women).

Results The 1-year prevalence of falling among old Saudis (>=60 years) was 49.9%. Our results show that 74% of the participants who experienced falls had postfall injuries. Old participants who were uneducated and those with middle school certification were associated with falls (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.72; 95% CI 1.15 to 2.56, aOR 1.81; 95% CI 1.15 to 2.85, respectively). Those who live in rented houses had a higher risk of falls. Interestingly, having a caregiver was significantly associated with more falls (aOR 1.39; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.79). However, not using any medications was significantly related to fewer falls. In addition, old individuals using walking aids were more likely to fall than those who did not. Participants who mentioned ‘not having stressors were associated with less frequent falls (aOR 0.62; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.97). Cerebrovascular accidents were strongly associated with falls with an estimated OR of 2.75 (95% CI 1.18 to 6.43). Moreover, osteoporosis, poor vision and back pain were found to be predictors for falls among the elderly.

Conclusion 49.9% of elderly Saudis had experienced one or more falls during a 12-month period. Several preventable risk factors could be addressed by routine geriatric assessment. Research on the impact of these risk factors is needed.

  • geriatric medicine
  • falls
  • risk factors
  • saudi arabia

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  • FYA, IMA and FAA contributed equally.

  • Twitter @FaisalAAlhusain

  • Contributors FAA, IMA and FYA designed the study, collected data and wrote the manuscript. SLAS, AFA and BIA collected data and wrote the manuscript. EMM analysed and interpreted data. FAA contributed to the interpretation of data.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The institutional review board of the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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