Falls and fractures 2 years after acute stroke: The North Dublin Population Stroke Study

E. L. Callaly, D. Ni Chroinin, N. Hannon, O. Sheehan, M. Marnane, A. Merwick, L. A. Kelly, G. Horgan, E. Williams, D. Harris, D. Williams, A. Moore, E. Dolan, S. Murphy, P. J. Kelly, J. Duggan, L. Kyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Stroke patients are at increased risk of falls and fractures. The aim of this study was to determine the rate, predictors and consequences of falls within 2 years after stroke in a prospective population-based study in North Dublin, Ireland. Design: Prospective population-based cohort study. Subjects: 567 adults aged >18 years from the North Dublin Population Stroke Study. Methods: Participants were enrolled from an Irish urban population of 294,592 individuals, according to recommended criteria. Patients were followed for 2 years. Outcome measures included death, modified Rankin Scale (mRS), fall and fracture rate. Results: At 2 years, 23.5% (124/522) had fallen at least once since their stroke, 14.2% (74/522) had 2 or more falls and 5.4% (28/522) had a fracture. Of 332 survivors at 2 years, 107 (32.2%) had fallen, of whom 60.7% (65/107) had 2 or more falls and 23.4% (25/107) had fractured. In a multivariable model controlling for age and gender, independent risk factors for falling within the first 2 years of stroke included use of alpha-blocker medications for treatment of hypertension (P = 0.02). When mobility measured at Day 90 was included in the model, patients who were mobility impaired (mRS 2-3) were at the highest risk of falling within 2 years of stroke [odds ratio (OR) 2.30, P = 0.003] and those functionally dependent (mRS 4-5) displayed intermediate risk (OR 2.02, P = 0.03) when compared with independently mobile patients. Conclusion: Greater attention to falls risk, fall prevention strategies and bone health in the stroke population are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-886
Number of pages5
JournalAge and ageing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Falls
  • Older people
  • Outcome
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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