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Table 3 Health and lifestyle characteristics according to fall history in the follow-up sample (n = 632)

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

Characteristic Fallers Non-Fallers P value
n = 170 n = 462
Self-rated health status (N (%))    0.040
 Very good, Good 105 (61.8) 243 (52.6)  
 Poor, Very poor 65 (38.2) 219 (47.4)  
Perceived health compared to a year ago (N (%))    0.045
 Better/same 147 (86.5) 424 (91.8)  
 Worse 23 (13.5) 38 (8.2)  
Self-rated mobility (N (%))    0.617
 Independent 142 (83.5) 378 (81.8)  
 With difficulty 28 (16.5) 84 (18.2)  
Self-reported previous fall (yes) 64 (37.6) 75 (16.2) <0.001
Self-reported previous recurrent falls (yes) 34 (18.1) 57 (15.6) <0.001
Self-reported medical conditions    
 Hypertension (Yes) 112 (65.9) 326 (70.6) 0.258
 Arthritis (Yes) 109 (64.1) 278 (60.2) 0.367
 Cardiovascular disease (Yes) 95 (55.9) 159 (34.4) <0.001
 Foot problems(Yes) 69 (40.6) 108 (23.4) <0.001
 Diabetes (Yes) 50 (29.4) 143 (31.0) 0.709
 Dizziness, vertigo (Yes) 51 (30.0) 77 (16.7) <0.001
 Chronic lung disease (Yes) 13 (7.6) 36 (7.8) 0.952
 Depression (Yes) 12 (7.1) 27 (5.8) 0.574
 Stroke (Yes) 15 (8.8) 22 (4.8) 0.054
 Poor memory (Yes) 6 (3.5) 13 (2.8) 0.640
 Cancer (Yes) 16 (9.4) 27 (5.8) <0.001
 Parkinson’s disease (Yes) 7 (4.1) 6 (1.3) 0.027
Number of medical conditions (median, IQR) 4 (2–5) 3(2–4) <0.001
Number of medications (median (IQR) 5 (3–7) 4 (2–5) <0.001
SES index (median, IQR) 8 (7–8) 7(6–8) <0.001
Residents per household (median (IQR)) 3 (2–4) 3 (2–5) 0.002
Hand grip (kg) (median IQR) 9.5 (2–16) 10 (6–16) 0.044
Timed Up and Go test (seconds) 14 (11–19) 14 (11–20) 0.538
Chair stands (seconds) 14 (10–17) 15 (11–20) 0.004
BMI (median, IQR) 27 (24–32) 28 (25–32) <0.001
Poor urine control (Yes) 62 (36.5) 97 (21.0) <0.001
Impaired hearing (Yes) 58 (34.1) 94 (20.3) <0.001
Vision (N (%))    
 Far: poor (Yes) 8 (4.7) 35 (7.6) 0.204
 Near: poor (Yes) 1 (0.6) 32 (6.9) 0.001
Tobacco use (N (%))    0.001
 Current (Yes) 23 (13.5) 56 (12.1)  
 Previous (Yes) 58 (34.1) 93 (20.1)  
Alcohol consumption (N (%))    0.090
 Current (Yes) 33 (19.4) 64 (13.9)  
 Previous (Yes) 16 (9.4) 31 (6.7)  
  1. Unless otherwise stated, numbers are n(%). IQR = interquartile range. 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