Risk factors for falling in older Mexican Americans

Carlos A. Reyes-Ortiz, Soham Al Snih, José Loera, Laura A. Ray, Kyriakos Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objective: To estimate the prevalence of falls and the risk factors associated with falls in Mexican-American men and women aged 72 and older, from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly. Design: A 2-year cohort study. Setting: Five Southwestern states: Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California. Methods: Data on sociodemographic characteristics, health status, cognitive function, affective function, functional status, body mass index, and summary performance measures of lower body function, were obtained (1998-1999). Two years later (2000-2001), falls in the previous 12 months were assessed by self-report. Chi-square, univariate statistics, and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used. Results: Of the 1,391 participants, 31.8% fell one or more times, and 14.2% reported 2 or more falls. In the logistic regression analysis, aged ≥80 years (adjusted odds ratio [OR]=1.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.17-1.98), being female (OR=1.45, 95% CI 1.13-1.86), having diabetes (OR=1.37, 95% CI 1.06-1.77), having arthritis (OR=1.32, 95% CI 1.04-1.68), experiencing impairment of instrumental activities of daily living (OR=1.05, 95% CI 1.01-1.10), and exhibiting high depressive symptoms (OR=1.59, 95% CI 1.16-2.19), were significant (P<.05) independent risk factors for one or more falls. The risk of falling increased linearly with the number of risk factors, from 14% with none, to 41% with 3 or more risk factors (P<.001). Conclusions: Prevalence of falls among older Mexican Americans was similar to that reported in non-Hispanic Caucasians. Potential modifiable conditions, such as functional deficits, arthritis, diabetes, and depressive symptoms were independent risk factors for falls in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-422
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Falls
  • Older Mexican Americans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • General Medicine


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