Alzheimer's DementiaParkinson'sStroke

The risk of falling among the elderly

There’s lots of interest in reducing the risk of falls in the elderly. But what are the signs that grandma is at significant risk?

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia have complied a list.

Based on a review of the medical literature, there is strong evidence for the following risk factors.

  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Disorders of gait and balance

Also, A history of falling in the past year strongly predicts the likelihood of future falls.

The evidence is less strong for the following conditions.

  • Parkinson disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Lower extremity weakness or sensory loss
  • Substantial vision loss

There is insufficient evidence to assess whether measuring gait, mobility, and balance offer benefit beyond what can be learned using a standard neurologic examination.

The bottom line?
It’s useful information for healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers. I’ll included it in future entries on this topic.

2/6/08 10:20 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.