University of Missouri-Columbia School of Health Professions Link to MU Homepage link to MU Homepage School of Health Professions
Virtual Health Care Team
Case StudiesAbout VHCTContinuing EducationHealth ReferencesContact UsHome


Carmen Abbott, MA, PT

School of Health Professions, University of Missouri-Columbia

Falls and Hip Fractures

Risk Factors for Falls and Fractures

Medical Risk Factors

  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson's
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Gait deficit
  • Balance deficit
  • Psychotropic medication use
  • Depression
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Personal history of fracture / falls
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Dementia / poor health / frailty
  • Poor vision
  • Use of oral glucocorticoids for > 3 months

(Campbell AJ, 2006; Kessel B, 2004).

Demographic Risk Factors

  • Female gender
  • Older age
  • Caucasian
  • Low body weight and body mass index
  • Low calcium intake
  • Smoking / excessive alcohol intake
  • Low level of physical activity
  • Use of assistive devices
  • Impaired activities of daily living

(Campbell AJ, 2006; Fuller GF, 2000; Kessel B, 2004; Tinetti ME, 2003).

Common Risk Factors

Most common risk factors for falls in 16 studies
Risk factor Mean RR or OR*
Muscle weakness4.4
History of falls3.0
Gait deficit2.9
Balance deficit2.9
Use assistive device2.6
Visual deficit1.5
Impaired ADL2.3
Cognitive impairment1.8
Age > 80 years1.7
Source: Guideline for the prevention of falls in older persons. JAGS 2001;49:664-672.
*RR for prospective studies; OR for retrospective studies.

Published by the Virtual Health Care Team ®
School of Health Professions
University of Missouri-Columbia
Questions? Comments? Contact Us
Copyright © 2005-2012 — Curators of the University of Missouri
DMCA and other copyright information.
An equal opportunity/ADA institution.
All rights reserved. Disclaimer and Terms of Use
Last Update: Dec 3 2012