Higher church attendance predicts lower fear of falling in older Mexican-Americans

C. A. Reyes-Ortiz, H. Ayele, T. Mulligan, D. V. Espino, I. M. Berges, K. S. Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Several studies have shown that involvement in religious activity appears to benefit health. To estimate the association between church attendance and fear of falling, we used a sample of 1341 non-institutionalized Mexican-Americans aged 70 and over from the third wave (1998-1999) of the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly, followed until 2000-2001. Baseline potential predictors of fear of falling were church attendance, socio-demographics, history of falls, summary measure of lower body performance (tandem balance, eight-foot walk, and repeated chair stands), functional status, depressive symptoms, cognitive status, and medical conditions. Fear of falling at the two-year follow-up was measured as no fear, somewhat afraid, fairly afraid, and very afraid. Chi-square statistic and multiple logistic regression analysis were used to estimate associations between the outcome and the potential predictors. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that frequent church attendance was an independent predictor of lower fear of falling (odds ratio = 0.73, 95% confidence interval 0.58-0.92, P = 0.008) two years later. Other independent predictors of fear of falling were female gender, poorer objective lower body performance, history of falls, arthritis, hypertension, and urinary incontinence. Frequent church attendance is associated with decreased fear of falling in older Mexican-Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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