142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Preventing Falls and Injuries through Physical Activity in Middle-Aged Adults

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, PhD, DO, MPH, CPH , Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MSc , Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Theodore Courtney, MS, CSP , Center for Injury Epidemiology, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA
David Christiani, MD, MPH , Department of Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA
Santosh K. Verma, ScD, MPH, MBBS , Center for Injury Epidemiology, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA
Background/Purpose: While exercise has been shown to be protective against falls in older adults (65 and older), evidence for the role of Leisure-Time Physical Activity (LTPA) in the prevention of falls and resulting injuries in middle-aged adults (45-64) is lacking. In the present study, we investigated the association between LTPA and falls and injuries from falls across three age strata (45-54, 55-64 and 65 and older), while controlling for key socio-demographic and health characteristics.

 Methods: Using data from the 2010 U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, we examined the number of adults age 45 and older who self-reported their fall experience in the previous 3-months and any injuries that resulted from those falls.  Outcome measures included: 1) frequency of falls in the 3-months prior to the survey interview date; and 2) the number of injuries resulting from these falls.

 Results/Outcomes:  Of 340,680 participants age 45 and older, 70.7% reported engaging in LTPA, while 17% reported one or more falls.  Among participants who fell, 25.6% experienced one injury from the fall, while 8.4% reported two or more injuries.  Controlling for socio-demographic and health characteristics, middle-aged adults (age 45-54) who engaged in LTPA were significantly less likely to report more than one fall (Odds Ratio:0.70; 95%CI:[0.69-0.71]) and significantly less likely to report an injury from the fall (0.81;[0.80-0.82]) than middle-aged adults who did not exercise.

 Conclusion: Similar to older adults, middle-aged adults who engage in LTPA are significantly more likely to report fewer falls and fall-related injuries.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Compare the frequency of falls and injuries resulting from a fall between older (65 and older) and middle-aged adults (45-64). Describe the association between leisure-time physical activity and self-reported falls in middle-aged adults.

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ted Courtney, M.S., CSP, is Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety in Hopkinton, MA. He is also Instructor in Injury, Safety and Ergonomics at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Ted has received considerable scientific recognition for his falls research and is Associate Editor of Accident Analysis and Prevention and an editorial board member of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.