Self-reported alcohol consumption and falls in older adults

Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of the cardiovascular health study

Kenneth J. Mukamal, Murray A. Mittleman, W. T. Longstreth, Anne B. Newman, Linda P Fried, David S. Siscovick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To assess the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between alcohol consumption and risk of falls in older adults. DESIGN: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. SETTING: Four U.S. communities. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 5,841 older adults enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study, an ongoing, population-based, prospective cohort study, participated. MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported alcohol consumption at baseline, self-reported frequent falls at baseline, and the 4-year risk of falls of participants who denied frequent falls at baseline. RESULTS: Cross-sectional analysis indicated an apparent inverse association between alcohol consumption and risk of frequent falls (adjusted odds ratio in consumers of 14 or more drinks per week = 0.41; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.14-1.17; P for trend = .06), but longitudinal analysis indicated a similar 4-year risk of falls in abstainers and light to moderate drinkers but a 25% higher risk in consumers of 14 or more drinks per week (95% CI = 3-52%; P for trend = .07). Similar results were found in analyses stratified by age, sex, race, and physical activity. CONCLUSION: Consumption of 14 or more drinks per week is associated with an increased risk of subsequent falls in older adults. Cross-sectional studies may fail to identify this risk of heavier drinking, perhaps because older adults at risk for falls decrease their alcohol use over time or because heavier drinkers at risk for falls tend not to enroll in cohort studies. However, because this study relied upon annual reporting of falls, further prospective studies should be conducted to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1179
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume52
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2004

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Alcohol Drinking
Cross-Sectional Studies
Health
Cohort Studies
Prospective Studies
Confidence Intervals
Drinking
Odds Ratio
Alcohols
Exercise
Light
Population

Keywords

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cohort study
  • Falls
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Self-reported alcohol consumption and falls in older adults : Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of the cardiovascular health study. / Mukamal, Kenneth J.; Mittleman, Murray A.; Longstreth, W. T.; Newman, Anne B.; Fried, Linda P; Siscovick, David S.

In: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 52, No. 7, 07.2004, p. 1174-1179.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mukamal, Kenneth J. ; Mittleman, Murray A. ; Longstreth, W. T. ; Newman, Anne B. ; Fried, Linda P ; Siscovick, David S. / Self-reported alcohol consumption and falls in older adults : Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of the cardiovascular health study. In: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2004 ; Vol. 52, No. 7. pp. 1174-1179.
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abstract = "OBJECTIVES: To assess the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between alcohol consumption and risk of falls in older adults. DESIGN: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. SETTING: Four U.S. communities. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 5,841 older adults enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study, an ongoing, population-based, prospective cohort study, participated. MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported alcohol consumption at baseline, self-reported frequent falls at baseline, and the 4-year risk of falls of participants who denied frequent falls at baseline. RESULTS: Cross-sectional analysis indicated an apparent inverse association between alcohol consumption and risk of frequent falls (adjusted odds ratio in consumers of 14 or more drinks per week = 0.41; 95{\%} confidence interval (CI) = 0.14-1.17; P for trend = .06), but longitudinal analysis indicated a similar 4-year risk of falls in abstainers and light to moderate drinkers but a 25{\%} higher risk in consumers of 14 or more drinks per week (95{\%} CI = 3-52{\%}; P for trend = .07). Similar results were found in analyses stratified by age, sex, race, and physical activity. CONCLUSION: Consumption of 14 or more drinks per week is associated with an increased risk of subsequent falls in older adults. Cross-sectional studies may fail to identify this risk of heavier drinking, perhaps because older adults at risk for falls decrease their alcohol use over time or because heavier drinkers at risk for falls tend not to enroll in cohort studies. However, because this study relied upon annual reporting of falls, further prospective studies should be conducted to confirm these findings.",
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