Falls after stroke: results from the Auckland Regional Community Stroke (ARCOS) Study, 2002 to 2003.
Kerse N., Parag V., Feigin VL., McNaughton H., Hackett ML., Bennett DA., Anderson CS., Auckland Regional Community Stroke (ARCOS) Study Group None.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Falls are an important issue in older people. We aimed to determine the incidence, circumstances, and predictors of falls in patients with recent acute stroke. METHODS: The Auckland Regional Community Stroke (ARCOS) study was a prospective population-based stroke incidence study conducted in Auckland, New Zealand (NZ) during 2002 to 2003. Among 6-month survivors, the location and consequences of any falls were ascertained by self-report as part of a structured interview. Multivariable logistic regression was used to establish associations between risk factors and "any" and "injurious" falls. RESULTS: Of 1104 stroke survivors who completed an interview, 407 (37%) reported at least 1 fall, 151 (37% of fallers, 14% of stroke survivors) sustained an injury that required medical treatment, and 31 (8% of fallers, 3% of stroke survivors) sustained a fracture. The majority of falls occurred indoors at home. Independent factors associated with falls were depressive symptoms, disability, previous falls, and older age. For injurious falls, the positively associated factors were female sex and NZ/European ethnicity and dependence before the stroke, whereas higher levels of activity and normal cognition were negatively associated factors. CONCLUSIONS: Falls are common after stroke, and their predictive factors are similar to those for older people in general. Falls prevention programs require implementation in stroke services.