Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
March 15, 2021
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Older adults with hip osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain may be at risk of falls

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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According to researchers at the University of Delaware, older adults with concurrent hip osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain may be a high-risk group for accidental falls.

Patrick J. Knox, PT, DPT, MS, and colleagues prospectively monitored 210 adult patients (aged 65 to 80 years) with chronic low back pain (CLBP) for 1 year. Using American College of Rheumatology criteria, researchers found 97.1% of patients exhibited signs and symptoms of hip OA.

Knox graphic
A total of 89 out of the 210 participants recorded a fall during the 1-year study period. Data were derived from Knox PJ, et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2021;doi:10.1186/s13075-021-02455-5.

During the 1-year span, Knox and colleagues recorded a total of 219 falls from 42.4% of patients (n = 89). They also noted that compared with patients who fell just once during the study period (n = 49), hip OA impairment burden was “significantly greater” in patients who fell two times or more (n = 50).

Additionally, binary logistic regression – which adjusted for age, sex, BMI, anxiolytic use, balance confidence, LBP-related disability and fall history – revealed an association between higher hip OA impairment burden and an increased fall risk. The risk ratio for increased fall risk among these patients was 1.23, while the odds ratio of falling multiple times was 1.41, according to the study.

“Older adults with CLBP and concomitant hip impairments are an at-risk group for falling,” Knox and colleagues wrote in the study. “Health care professionals should employ falls screening and preventive measures to avoid negative sequelae in this vulnerable population,” they concluded.