Ethnicity predicts falls among community-dwelling older adults in Singapore

Tuo Yu Chen, Pey June Tan, Angelique Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The present study examined whether ethnicity independently predicted future falls among community-dwelling older Singaporeans, and whether ethnicity moderated the relationships between falls risk factors at baseline and falls at follow up. Methods: Data from a longitudinal survey of older Singaporeans were used. Baseline assessment included handgrip strength, global cognitive function, mobility difficulties, health and psychosocial status. One-year retrospective falls information at follow up was the primary outcome. Results: Final analysis included 1975 participants (mean age 73.6 ± 6.2 years, 53% women). Indians, followed by Malays, had a higher risk of falling compared with Chinese at follow up. This association remained after controlling for falls risk factors. Self-reported pain and poor global cognitive function imposed a substantial increment in the risk of falling among Malays compared with Chinese, but not Indians. Conclusion: Ethnicity was a significant predictor of future falls among older Singaporeans. Falls screening and intervention should take ethnicity into account to reach and support the appropriate target population. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018; 18: 72–79.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • ethnicity
  • falls
  • global cognitive function
  • older adults
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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