Prevalence and correlates of falls in a middle-aged population with osteoarthritis: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

Richard Ofori-Asenso, Ilana N. Ackerman, Sze-Ee Soh

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People with osteoarthritis (OA) are at a higher risk of falls and fall-related injuries. However, there is limited knowledge of the burden and correlates of falls in middle-aged people with OA. Using data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, this study aimed to determine the prevalence and correlates of falls among middle-aged people with OA. A total of 1,019 adults aged 45–64 years with OA were included in this cross-sectional analysis. The prevalence of self-reported falls in the past 12 months was calculated and relationships between demographic and clinical characteristics and falls history were explored via univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Of the study population (61.7% female), 43.7% (445/1,019) reported having had a fall in the last 12 months. In multivariable models, female sex (odds ratio [OR] 2.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.50–2.90), Charlson score ≥1 (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.42–2.55) and opioid use (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.77–4.06) were associated with a higher likelihood of falls. Higher depression score, being White/Caucasian and higher educational attainment were also associated with a greater likelihood of falls. Having knee and hip OA was associated with a higher likelihood of falls (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.24–2.59), compared to knee OA alone. In summary, previous falls history is concerningly common among middle-aged adults with OA, with modifiable risk factors including depression and opioid use. Greater attention to falls prevention is therefore needed for this patient group, including screening for falls and tailoring existing falls prevention interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-444
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • correlates
  • falls
  • falls history
  • middle-aged
  • osteoarthritis
  • prevalence
  • risk factors

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