Multiple Stumbles: A Risk Factor for Falls in Community‐Dwelling Elderly; A Prospective Study

Joan Teno, Douglas P. Kiel, Vincent Mor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


To better understand risk factors for falls among community‐dwelling elderly, we analyzed data from a sample of elderly Medicare beneficiaries interviewed in 1987 and a year later. Demographic, social, medical, and functional information were obtained by telephone interviews with 736 subjects (68% women) whose average age was 76.5 (range, 65–99). At baseline, 63 subjects reported a fall and 67 reported two or more stumbles without a fall in the past month. At the second interview follow‐up information on falls in the past year was obtained on 586 subjects. One hundred twenty‐seven (22%) subjects reported one or more falls. Baseline risk factors that were independent predictors of a fall at the second interview included two or more stumbles (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–4.5), one or more falls (AOR 5.9, 95% CI 2.9–12.2), having spent 4 or more days in bed in the past month (AOR 7.7, 95% CI 1.9–31.0), and self‐reported declining health status (AOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1–3.5). Falls and stumbles are prevalent among community‐dwelling elderly. After controlling for covariates, we found subjects who reported two or more stumbles in the past month are at increased risk for a fall in the following year. 1990 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1321-1325
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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