Original Article

Analysis of Fall Injuries by Body Mass Index

Authors: Jun Ren, PhD, Amanda Waclawczyk, MPH, Doug Hartfield, MPH, Shicheng Yu, PhD, Xiangyu Kuang, BS, Hongrui Zhang, BS, Hasanat Alamgir, PhD


Objective: To examine the association of body mass index (BMI) and fall injuries.

Methods: Data were derived from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and included subjects aged 45 years and older from Texas. The outcome was self-reported falls that resulted in injury to the respondents. Analysis of fall injuries by BMI was conducted and standard errors, 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and coefficients of variation were reported. Complex sample multivariate Poisson regression was used to examine the association of BMI and fall injuries.

Results: A total of 18,077 subjects were surveyed in 2010, and 13,235 subjects were aged 45 years old and older. The mean BMI was higher (29.94 vs 28.32 kg/m 2 ) among those who reported fall injuries compared with those who did not. The fall injuries reported by obese respondents (relative risk [RR] 1.67) were found to be significantly ( P = 0.031) higher compared with normal-weight respondents in the multivariate regression. Other risk factors that had significant association with fall injuries (when adjusted for BMI) were activity limitations (RR 5.00, 95% CI 3.36–7.46) compared with no limitations, and not having formal employment (homemaker: RR 2.68, 95% CI 1.33–5.37; unable to work: RR 5.01, 95% CI 1.87–13.29; out of work and students: RR 3.21, 95% CI 1.41–7.29) compared with the employed population.

Conclusions: There is a significant association between obesity and fall injuries in adults aged 45 years old and older in Texas. Interventions in fall prevention, although generally targeted at present to older adults, also should take into account the weight status of the subjects.

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