Predictors of falls in older adults with and without dementia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Persons living with, versus without, dementia (PLWD) have heightened fall-risk. Little is known about whether fall-risk factors differ by dementia status. Methods: Using the 2015 and 2016 National Health and Aging Trends Study, we prospectively identified fall-risk factors over a 12-month period among community-living older adults ≥65 years with and without dementia (n = 5581). Results: Fall rates were higher among PLWD compared to persons without dementia (45.5% vs. 30.9%). In a multivariable model including sociodemographic, health, function, and environmental characteristics as predictors, vision impairment (OR: 2.22, 95% CI: 1.12–4.40), and living with a spouse versus alone (OR: 2.43, 95% CI: 1.09–5.43) predicted falls among PLWD, but not among persons without dementia. History of previous falls predicted subsequent falls regardless of dementia status (OR: 6.20, 95% CI: 3.81–10.09, and OR: 2.92, 95% CI: 2.50–3.40, respectively). Discussion: Incorporating appropriate fall-risk factors could inform effective falls screening and prevention strategies for PLWD. Highlights: 46% of persons with dementia had ≥1 falls versus 31% of those without dementia in 2016. Vision impairment and living with a spouse predicted falls in persons with dementia. Study results support tailored fall prevention strategies for persons with dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2888-2897
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • accidental falls
  • dementia
  • fall risk factors
  • living arrangement
  • vision impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Epidemiology


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