To evaluate rates and factors associated with older adult falls in different ethnic groups.
Information on demographics, medical and falls history, and pain and physical activity levels was collected from 550 community-dwelling older adults (75±9 years old, 222 European Americans, 109 Afro-Caribbeans, 106 African-Americans, and 113 Hispanics).
Taking medications for anxiety (risk ratio [RR] =1.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.1-2.0), having incontinence (RR =1.4, 95% CI =1.1-1.8, P=0.013), back pain (RR =1.4, 95% CI =1.0-1.8), feet swelling (RR =1.3, 95% CI =1.1-1.7), and age ≥75 years (RR =1.3, 95% CI =1.0-1.6) were associated with falls. The associations were stronger for Afro-Caribbeans, but they presented approximately 40% lower prevalence of falls than the other groups.
Taking anxiety medication, incontinence, back pain, feet swelling, and age ≥75 years were associated with falls, and Afro-Caribbeans presented lower prevalence of falls. These findings need to be taken into consideration in clinical interventions in aging.