Skip to main content

Table 2 Health and lifestyle characteristics of the baseline samples by area of residence (suburb) (n = 837)

From: Risk factors for falls in older adults in a South African Urban Community

Characteristic Gugulethu Plumstead Wynberg P value
n = 283 n = 188 n = 366
Self-rated health status (N (%))     <0.001
 Very good, Good 54 (19.1) 140 (74.5) 207 (56.6)  
 Poor, Very poor 229 (80.9) 48 (25.5) 159 (43.4)  
Perceived health compared to a year ago (N (%))     <0.001
 Better/same 269 (95.1) 170 (90.4) 307 (83.9)  
 Worse 14 (4.9) 18 (9.6) 59 (16.1)  
Self-rated mobility (N (%))     0.281
 Independent 237 (83.7) 163 (86.7) 298 (81.4)  
 With difficulty 46 (16.3) 25 (13.3) 68 (18.6)  
Reported previous fall (Yes) 15 (5.3) 74 (39.4) 132 (36.1) <0.001
Reported previous recurrent falls (Yes) 1 (0.4) 34 (18.1) 57 (15.6) <0.001
Self-reported medical conditions(N (%))     
 Hypertension (Yes) 219 (77.4) 125 (66.5) 227 (62.2) <0.001
 Arthritis (Yes) 178 (63.1) 121 (64.4) 202 (55.2) 0.046
 Cardiovascular disease (Yes) 87 (30.7) 96 (51.1) 211 (57.7) <0.001
 Foot problems (Yes) 31 (11.0) 59 (31.4) 127 (34.7) <0.001
 Diabetes (Yes) 146 (51.6) 37 (19.7) 91 (24.9) <0.001
 Dizziness, vertigo (Yes) 17 (6.0) 56 (29.8) 90 (24.7) <0.001
 Chronic lung disease (Yes) 24 (8.5) 26 (13.8) 43 (11.8) 0.174
 Depression (Yes) 22 (7.8) 34 (18.1) 32 (8.7) 0.001
 Stroke (Yes) 12 (4.2) 17 (9.0) 38 (10.4) 0.014
 Poor memory (Yes) 36 (12.7) 4 (2.1) 23 (6.3) <0.001
 Cancer (Yes) 2 (0.7) 21 (11.2) 22 (6.0) <0.001
 Parkinson’s disease (Yes) 7 (2.5) 5 (2.70) 11 (3.0) 0.916
Number of comorbidities (median, IQR) 3 (2–4) 4 (2–5) 3(2–5) <0.001
Total drug intake (median (IQR) 3 (1–4) 5 (3–7) 5 (3–7) <0.001
Poor urine control (Yes) 41 (14.5) 49 (26.1) 101 (27.6) 0.001
Impaired hearing (Yes) 72 (25.4) 63 (33.5) 113 (30.9) 0.135
Vision (N (%))     
 Far: poor (Yes) 40 (14.1) 8 (4.3) 26 (7.1) <0.001
 Near: poor (Yes) 44 (15.6) 5 (2.7) 10 (2.7) <0.001
Tobacco use     <0.001
 Current (Yes) 9 (3.2) 22 (11.7) 69 (18.9)  
 Previous (Yes) 30 (10.6) 70 (37.2) 99 (27.0)  
Alcohol consumption     <0.001
 Current (Yes) 6 (2.1) 78 (41.5) 34 (9.3)  
 Previous (Yes) 31 (11.0) 15 (8.0) 38 (10.4)  
BMI (median, IQR) 30 (27–34) 27 (23–30) 27 (24–30) <0.001
  1. For dichotomous variables used Yes or No, Unless otherwise stated, numbers are n (%). IQR = interquartile range, SD = Standard deviation. P-value: ANOVA test for means, Kruskal-Wallis test for medians, χ2 test for categorical variables
  2. Cardiovascular disease includes angina, heart failure and peripheral vascular disease, lung disease = chronic obstructive airways disease or asthma