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Summary

Background

Prevalence of osteoporotic fractures and falls, and functional status may be related with each other.

Objective

The aim of the study was to assess functional status and prevalence of falls and fractures in Polish postmenopausal women in a representative, randomly selected population sample from RAC-OST-POL Study.

Design

Population-based epidemiological study.

Setting

Raciborz city and district, Poland.

Participants

The study included 618 postmenopausal women aged ≥ 55 years (mean age 66.3 ± 7.8 years).

Measurements

Data concerning falls, fractures etc. were collected using on a questionnaire. Functional assessment was carried out using Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL) Lawton's test and ‘Stand up & go’ (SUG) test. Skeletal status was assessed using DXA at the hip and with phalangeal quantitative ultrasound (QUS).

Results

Fifty-six per cent of studied women have got a reduced mobility estimated using SUG test (time > 10 s). Functional independence level estimated using IADL test is reduced among 14% of women (≤ 23 points). Twenty-eight per cent of women sustained osteoporotic fracture and 34% of women have got a positive fall history in the last year. The number of falls or fractures correlates significantly with results of IADL and SUG tests. Functional status of women who fell or sustained fracture was significantly decreased in comparison with women without falls or fractures.

The significant factors increasing the risk of fall are: presence of depression, presence of chronic disease and a reduced functional independence. The significant factors increasing the risk of fractures are: history of fall, age, T-score value for trochanter bone mineral density.

Conclusion

Results of the study indicate that functional status plays an important role as a factor increasing the risk of falls and fractures in postmenopausal women.