Falls and atrial fibrillation in elderly patients

Chen Ying Hung, Tsu Juey Wu, Kuo Yang Wang, Jin Long Huang, El Wui Loh, Yi Ming Chen, Chu Sheng Lin, Ching Heng Lin, Der Yuan Chen, Yih Jing Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm disorder in older adults, and its prevalence has increased rapidly in recent years. The health issues associated with atrial fibrillation are not limited to physiological problems, as it also contributes to an increased risk of falls, which may be related to cardiovascular co-morbidities and medication use. The aim of this study was to determine which cardiovascular co-morbidities and medication use are associated with falls in older adults with atrial fibrillation. Methods: Four hundred and one patients 75 years of age or older (82.2 ± 0.2 years) were enrolled in a geriatric evaluation and management unit in Taiwan. Events associated with patient falls and medication use were recorded, and comprehensive geriatric assessment was conducted during admission. Results: Among the study participants, 66 (16.5%) patients had atrial fibrillation and 234 (58.4%) patients had a history of fall.We found a significantly higher prevalence of falls in patients with atrial fibrillation [odds ration (OR) 1.98, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08-3.63, p = 0.026] compared with those without atrial fibrillation. Using multivariate logistic regression, we found that benzodiazepine use (OR 18.22, 95% CI 2.71-122.38, p = 0.003), a history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (OR 12.18, 95% CI 1.37-108.70, p = 0.025) and hypertension (OR 9.49, 95% CI 1.19-75.57, p = 0.034) were independent factors for falls in atrial fibrillation patients. Conclusions: A diagnosis of atrial fibrillation in elderly patients is associated with falls. Benzodiazepine use, history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, and hypertension were associated with a high falling prevalence among patients with atrial fibrillation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-443
Number of pages8
JournalActa Cardiologica Sinica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Falls
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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