||This list of
factors are known to be related to an increased risk of falling in older populations.
Increased number of risk factors are related to an increase incidence of falls. 8% of
individuals with no risk factor experienced a fall compared to 78% of individuals with 4
or more risk factors (Tinetti, 1988).
Women and men have different outcomes from a fall. For instances,
women fall differently than men and absorb mechanical energy at different parts of the
body (e.g. hip). Men tend to sustain more brain injury than women.
Single risk factor ( e.g. the relationship
of falls and medication) and multiple risk factors, synergic effects of factors are
investigated in several prospective studies, and retrospective studies. The physiologic
changes of aging such as slower reflexes, increased postural sway, and declined visual
ability, contribute to instability prone to fall. Weak muscle strength and balance, gait
reaction time as well as decreased skeletal strength had been consistently implicated in
falls in the elderly(Tinetti, 1988; Nevitt, 1989). Lower leg strength, particularly at hip
and anterior tibia, is correlated with balance and risk of falling (Gehlsen, 1990).