Factors associated with falls among community-dwelling older people in Taiwan

Tai Yin Wu, Wei Chu Chie, Rong Sen Yang, Jen Pei Liu, Kuan Liang Kuo, Wai Kuen Wong, Chen Kun Liaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Falls are common among older people. Previous studies have shown that falls were multifactorial. However, data regarding community-dwelling Chinese population are minimal. We aimed to study factors associated with falls among community-dwelling older Chinese people. Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in a community hospital in Taiwan in 2010. Our sample included 671 elders from the 3680 examinees of the free annual Senior Citizens Health Examination. Participants were interviewed with a detailed questionnaire, and 317 elders were further invited for serum vitamin D tests. The main outcome was falls in the previous 12 months. Predictor variables included sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle risk factors, body stature, frailty, serum 25 (OH) D levels, and medications. Results: The mean age of the 671 participants was 75.7 ± 6.4 years old, and 48.7% of which were female. Fallers comprised 21.0% of the study population. In multivariate models, female gender (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 2.32), loss of height in adulthood (aOR: 1.52), low body weight (aOR: 2.69), central obesity (aOR: 1.67), frailty (aOR: 1.56), polypharmacy (aOR: 2.18) and hyperglycaemia (aOR: 1.56) were factors associated with falls. Vitamin D insuffi ciency (serum 25 (OH) D levels <30 ng/mL) was not associated with falls (OR: 0.78; 95% CI, 0.38 to 1.60) (n = 317) in this study. Conclusion: Among community-dwelling older people in Taiwan, falls were mainly associated with female gender, polypharmacy, frailty, reduced body height, low body weight or central obesity, and hyperglycaemia. In addition to other risk factors, body stature should be considered as a novel risk factor when screening elders at risk for falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-327
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Accidental falls
  • Aged
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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