The Risk for Fall and Functional Dependence in Polish Adults
The constantly rising percentage of the elderly (60+), who are particularly at risk of the dangerous consequence of falls, results not only in the loss of independence in daily life, but also in a serious threat to health and life. Therefore, many authors emphasize the necessity of conducting prophylaxis and prevention among senior citizens. The most important aspect of fall prophylaxis is care about the optimum level of agility. Exercise should focus on increasing muscular strength, balance and dexterity. The aim of the present study is to determine the relationship between functional fitness and the risk for falls of older people in the light of maintaining physical independence. The research group consisted of 522 persons: 142 males and 380 females aged 60-84 years from Wroclaw (a city in the south-west of Poland). All subjects provided written consent, and were measured and tested in 2009 through 2015, excluding the winter months. Body height and weight were measured. Body mass index was calculated. The Senior Fitness Test was used to assess functional capacity and efficiency. The results of the Senior Fitness Test were used to estimate Maintaining Physical Independence in Older Adults. The differences in the means of the results of all the tests between the age and sex-specific groups were assessed by means of a two-way analysis of variance, where sex and age were factors and results of appropriate test dependent variables. Logistic regression was used to estimate the risk for fall, based on the incidence of fall in the last year, for each test comparing the individuals met referenced criteria to maintain functionally dependence and independent, controlled for age and BMI. The risk for falls was more than twice greater in the case of the studied females, whose muscular strength of the upper part of the body was lower. The females in whose cases no fewer than two tests failed to ascertain functional independence, had a greater risk for falls. In the case of the males, no statistically-significant connections between functional independence and the risk for falls was found.