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Medication Use, Falls, and Fall-Related Worry in Older Adults in the United States.

  • Author(s): Watanabe, Jonathan H;
  • et al.
Abstract

Objective

To compare the prevalence of falls and fall-related concerns of medication users versus nonusers in U.S. seniors.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Setting

The National Health and Aging Trends Study.

Participants

U.S. nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries in 2011.

Outcomes

Comparing subjects who used medications with subjects who did not in the past month, the outcomes were percentages of subjects who experienced 1) a fall in the past month, 2) worry about falling in the past month, 3) being limited by this worry in the past month, 4) a fall in the past year.

Results

A greater percentage of medication users experienced falls and fall-related outcomes, compared with non-medication users. Among medication users, 10.29% had a past month fall, compared with 5.42% of non-medication users; 27.69% of medication users worried in the past month about falling, compared with 9.15% of non-medication users; 40.96% of medication users were limited by this worry, compared with 21.21%; 22.82% of medication users had a fall in the past year, compared with 13.15% of non-medication users.

Conclusion

Seniors who use medications are more likely to fall and to be concerned about falling. Pharmacist involvement in fall prevention continues to be essential.

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