Falls requiring medical attention among veterans with multiple sclerosis: A cohort study

Michelle H. Cameron, Amy J. Poel, Jodie K. Haselkorn, Alex Linke, Dennis Bourdette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to estimate the relative risk of an injurious fall requiring medical attention in vete-rans with multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with veterans without MS after controlling for sex, age, and healthcare use. The sample included 195,417 veterans treated at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities in the Northwest United States in fiscal year 2008. We obtained information regarding MS diagnosis, injurious falls (operationalized as International Classification of Diseases-9th Revision-Clinical Modification codes E880-E888), and demographic and healthcare use data from the VHA Consumer Health Information Performance Set database. Using logistic regression, we determined the adjusted odds ratio (OR) of an injurious fall to be three times higher in female veterans with MS than in female veterans without MS (OR = 3.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6-5.5). The adjusted OR of an injurious fall for men with MS was also higher than for men without MS, but this difference was not statistically significant (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 0.8-2.1). We recommend further studies evaluating the medical, social, and economic consequences of injurious falls, as well as interventions to prevent injurious falls, to improve the independence and quality of life of veterans and others living with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Accidental falls
  • Cohort study
  • Disability
  • Epidemiology
  • Medical records
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Risk
  • Sex
  • Veterans
  • Wounds and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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