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June 1985

Intrinsic Factors in Falling Among the Elderly

Author Affiliations

From the Center for Studies of the Mental Health of the Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(6):1089-1093. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360060157024

• Falls even among home-dwelling elderly are frequently associated with death and morbidity. Yet, this is not generally appreciated by practitioners or researchers. Those who work with institutionalized elderly have been much more aware of falls as a serious problem. This review of the literature suggests (1) that while environmental causes for falling have a commonsense appeal, it is likely that intrinsic (host) factors become more important with age, and (2) that careful studies using such methodologies as case control, and longitudinal surveillance, are necessary to further elucidate risk factors for falling and to direct preventive strategy.

(Arch Intern Med 1985;145:1089-1093)