Background/Aims: Having dementia increases patients’ risk for accidental falls. However, it is unknown if having mild cognitive deficits also elevates a person’s risk for falls. This study sought to clarify the relationship between subtle cognitive impairment, measured with a widely-used, clinic-based assessment, the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), and risk for falls. Methods: In a secondary analysis of the Kenosha County Falls Prevention Study, a randomized controlled trial targeting older adults at risk for falls, we examined the association between baseline MMSE and prospective rate of falls over 12 months in 172 subjects randomized to control group. Results: Using univariate analysis, the rate of falls increased with each unit decrease in MMSE score down to at least 22 (rate ratio 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.45, p = 0.0026). Using stepwise multivariate regression, controlling for ability to perform activities of daily living, use of assistive device, current exercise, and arthritis, the association between MMSE score and falls rate persisted (rate ratio 1.20, 95% CI 1.03–1.40, p = 0.021). Conclusion: Minimal decrements on the MMSE were associated with elevations in rate of falls, suggesting that subtle cognitive deficits reflected in MMSE scores above a cut-off consistent with a diagnosis of dementia, can influence risk for falls.
© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel
- Accidental falls
- Mini Mental State Exam
- Older adults
- Risk factors
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Carey E. Gleason, PhD
Section of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin
Madison VA GRECC, Room D4211, 2500 Overlook Terrace
Madison, WI 53705 (USA)
Tel. +1 608 256 1901, ext. 17000, Fax +1 608 280 7165, E-Mail email@example.com
Accepted: March 17, 2009
Published online: July 11, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 7
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 24
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Vol. 27, No. 6, Year 2009 (Cover Date: July 2009)
Journal Editor: Chan-Palay V. (New York, N.Y.)
ISSN: 1420-8008 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9824 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/DEM
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