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Keywords:

  • falls;
  • Korea;
  • older adults;
  • risk factors

hong g.-r.s., cho s.-h. & tak y. (2010) Falls among Koreans 45 years of age and older: incidence and risk factors. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(9), 2014–2024.

Abstract

Aim.  The aim of the study was to determine the incidence of falls according to age and risk factors among Korean adults 45 years of age and older.

Background.  Falling is a known critical incident that results in injuries and limits the daily activities of older adults.

Method.  The 2006 Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging, a publicly available database, was used for this study, which was conducted in 2006 with a total of 10,254 respondents. The variables used in this study were selected from the demographic and health sections of the larger study.

Findings.  The overall incidence of any type of fall was 4·0%, and the incidence of injurious falls tended to increase with increasing age; however, people below 65 years of age had a greater proportion of injurious falls than any of the older adult groups. All types of falls were more likely to occur among older adults and those with arthritis, visual deficits, cognitive impairments and depression. In addition, older age, visual deficits, weak grip, cognitive impairment and depression were key risk factors for falls requiring treatment and those resulting in difficulties in activities of daily living. Falls resulting in hip fractures occurred more frequently among women, people with visual deficits and those with depression.

Conclusion.  Future assessments of the incidence and risk factors for falls and studies of fall interventions should begin with younger age groups, namely those 45 years of age and older.