Skip to Content

Loneliness, Social Isolation Tied to Fall Risk in Older Adults

FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2020 -- Social isolation may be a risk factor for falls among older adults, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in Scientific Reports.

Feifei Bu, Ph.D., from University College London, and colleagues examined the longitudinal association between loneliness, social isolation, and falls (self-reported falls: 4,013; those requiring hospital admissions: 9,285) among older adults. Data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing was linked to Hospital Episode Statistics.

The researchers observed a 5 percent increase in the risk for self-reported falls for a 1-point increase in loneliness independent of sociodemographic factors (hazard ratio, 1.05; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.08). However, when adjusting for individual differences in health and lifestyle measures, the association was no longer significant (hazard ratio, 1.03; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.07). The risk for self-reported falls was greater among those living alone (hazard ratio, 1.18; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.07 to 1.32) and with low social contact (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.07) even after controlling for sociodemographic, health, and lifestyle differences. Associations were similar for hospital admissions following a fall.

"Whilst this study uses data collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, its findings are particularly important in light of the pandemic as there is likely a heightened risk of loneliness and social isolation due to lockdown and social distancing measures," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: December 2020

Read this next

Post-Hip Fracture Mortality Higher in Patients Living Alone

FRIDAY, Jan. 8, 2021 -- Hip fracture patients who live alone have higher mortality than those living with a partner, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in the Journal of...

Bone Quality Linked to Complications After Spinal Fusion

TUESDAY, Jan. 5, 2021 -- Abnormalities of trabecular and cortical microarchitecture are associated with skeletal complications in the six months following spinal fusion surgery,...

Incidence of Dislocation After Hip Arthroplasty May Be Higher Than Thought

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2020 -- The "true" cumulative incidence of dislocation after primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) may be as high as 3.5 percent, according to a Danish study...

More News Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.