, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 649-652

Prevalence of Falls Among Seniors Maintained on Hemodialysis

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Abstract

Background: Increasing numbers of seniors are starting renal replacement therapy. Many may experience a loss of functional independence including mobility impairment. Seniors on dialysis commonly have multiple comorbidities that are associated with an increased risk for falls in the general population. Falls lead to serious injury, loss of independence, hospitalization and institutionalization. Despite such morbidity, little attention has been directed toward this marker of frailty in the dialysis population. In this brief preliminary report, we set out to determine the prevalence of falls among seniors on dialysis. Methods: A cross-sectional interview based survey was used to determine one year fall prevalence in patients aged 65 years and older receiving in center hemodialysis therapy. Results: A total of 135 ambulatory seniors were interviewed. Thirty-seven (27%) people reported having fallen in the past 12 months. An additional 21(16%) reported a fall prior to the past year. Four percent recalled a fall associated fracture or head injury requiring treatment. Conclusions: Falls are very common amongst seniors on hemodialysis. Further prospective study of the incidence and risk factors for falls in this population is needed to allow targeted interventions.