Preliminary evaluation of the prevalence of falls, pain and urinary incontinence in remote living Indigenous Australians over the age of 45 years

Authors

  • D. C. LoGiudice,

    Corresponding author
    1. Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing, Perth, Western Australia
    2. National Ageing Research Institute, and Royal Park – Melbourne Health, Parkville, Victoria
    • Dina LoGiudice, Royal Park Campus, Melbourne Health, 34 Poplar Road, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia. Email: dina.logiudice@mh.org.au

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  • K. Smith,

    1. Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing, Perth, Western Australia
    2. School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Western Australia
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  • D. Atkinson,

    1. School of Primary Aboriginal and Rural Health Care, University of Western Australia, Broome, Western Australia
    2. Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council, Broome, Western Australia
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  • A. Dwyer,

    1. Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing, Perth, Western Australia
    2. School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Western Australia
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  • N. Lautenschlager,

    1. School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia
    2. Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Academic Unit Old Age Psychiatry, St Vincent's Health, Victoria, Australia
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  • O. A. Almeida,

    1. School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia
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  • L. Flicker

    1. Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing, Perth, Western Australia
    2. School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Western Australia
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  • Funding: Funding for the prevalence study was gained through (Australian) National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants 219 194 and 353 612. The NHMRC had no role in the study design, study implementation, data interpretation or drafting of this paper.

Abstract

Aims:  To report on the prevalence of falls, urinary incontinence, pain and associated factors in remote living Indigenous Australians over the age of 45 years.

Methods:  A cross-sectional, semi-purposeful sample of 363 indigenous men and women aged over 45 years living in six remote communities and one town in Kimberley, Australia. Participants were assessed for self- or informant-reported rates of falls, urinary incontinence and pain.

Results:  The prevalence of self- or informant-reported falls was 31% (95% CI 25.3, 36.7), pain 55% (95% CI 47.4, 62.6) and urinary incontinence 9% (95% CI 5.9, 12.1%). Associations with falls after adjustment for age, sex and education included alcohol use (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.4, 4.2), stroke (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.1, 5.0), epilepsy (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.1, 11.6), head injury (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.3, 3.3) and poor hearing (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4, 4.1); for urinary incontinence epilepsy (OR 6.0, 95% CI 1.7, 21.2) and stroke (OR 16.7, 95% CI 6.0, 46.3); and for pain, poor hearing (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.0, 3.3) and female sex (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2, 2.7).

Conclusions:  Falls, urinary incontinence and pain are common and reported for the first time in older indigenous people living in remote regions. The presence of these syndromes in ages over 45 may be due to accumulation of health insults during the life course.

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