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Vol. 55, No. 3, 2009
Issue release date: May 2009
Section title: Clinical Section
Gerontology 2009;55:296–302
(DOI:10.1159/000181149)

Foot Disorders and Falls in Older Persons

Chaiwanichsiri D.a · Janchai S.a · Tantisiriwat N.b
aDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Chulalongkorn University, bThai Red Cross Rehabilitation Center, Thai Red Cross Society, Bangkok, Thailand

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Section

Received: 12/17/2007
Accepted: 6/10/2008
Published online: 12/3/2008
Issue release date: May 2009

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 4

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER

Abstract

Background: Fall rates are high among older people even in the healthy population. An aging foot may affect ambulatory function and increase the risk of fall(s). Objective: To study foot musculoskeletal disorders, falls and associated factors in healthy elderly subjects. Methods: Healthy volunteers aged 60–80 years who were independent in self-care and walking were recruited from urban Bangkok. Trained physicians evaluated health status, foot problems, and fall(s) history of all subjects. Walking performance was assessed using the ‘Timed Get Up & Go’ test and 6-m walking speed. Footprints were taken from the standing position. Foot dimensions and footwear were also measured by certified orthotists. Associated factors of foot disorders and falls were analyzed. Results: There were 213 subjects: 108 men, 105 women with a mean age of 68.6 ± 5.4 years. Foot deformities presented in 87% and were not significantly associated with walking performance or falls. Foot pain was found in 14% with a male:female sex ratio of 1:4. The causes of pain were plantar fasciitis, hallux valgus, callus, metatarsalgia, and inappropriate footwear. Subjects with foot pain had slower walking speed (1.14 ± 0.12 vs. 1.19 ± 0.12 m/s, p = 0.056). Falls were reported in 29.5% of women and 12.9% of men (p = 0.004). Multivariate analyses demonstrated that fall risk factors were female gender (OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.13–5.12), plantar fasciitis (OR = 6.8, 95% CI = 1.52–31.02), and knee osteoarthritis (OR = 3.6, 95% CI = 1.71–7.59). Subgroup analyses revealed that visual deficit was associated with falls in women (OR = 4.7, 95% CI = 1.75–12.73), and impaired foot protective sensation was associated with falls in men (OR = 5.1, 95% CI = 1.46–18.38). Conclusions: Aging foot deformities presented different characteristics among genders and were mostly asymptomatic. Foot pain, especially from plantar fasciitis, increased risk of falls in healthy older persons. Foot assessment, foot pain management, and proper footwear play important roles in fall prevention.

© 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Author Contacts

Dootchai Chaiwanichsiri
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University
1873, Rama IV Road, Phathumwan, Bangkok 10330 (Thailand)
Tel./Fax +66 2 256 4433, E-Mail dootchai@hotmail.com

  

Article Information

Received: December 17, 2007
Accepted: June 10, 2008
Published online: December 3, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 7
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 4, Number of References : 31

  

Publication Details

Gerontology (International Journal of Experimental, Clinical, Behavioural and Technological Gerontology)

Vol. 55, No. 3, Year 2009 (Cover Date: May 2009)

Journal Editor: Wick G. (Innsbruck)
ISSN: 0304-324X (Print), eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Section

Received: 12/17/2007
Accepted: 6/10/2008
Published online: 12/3/2008
Issue release date: May 2009

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 4

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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