Frequency and predictors for falls in the ambulatory patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a longitudinal prospective study

Bugdayci D., Paker N., Rezvani A., Kesiktas N., Yilmaz O., Sahin M., ...More

RHEUMATOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, vol.33, no.10, pp.2523-2527, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00296-013-2757-5
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2523-2527
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this multicentre study is to investigate the incidence and risk factors for falls in ambulatory rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. One hundred and eighty-five ambulatory RA patients who have been followed up in 3 different centres were included in study. Patients were a part of Turkish League Against Rheumatism-Follow-up Program. All patients were evaluated at the baseline in terms of demographic features, falls history in the last year, disease-specific characteristics and co-morbidities. Functional status was evaluated by chair stand test with five repetitions and heel-toe walking. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and CRP values were measured. Study patients were followed by the three monthly visits during a year. Patients were asked to fill the fall diary and/or call the doctor when a fall happens. The features of falls were recorded to the files at the time of the fall. The mean age was 56.7 +/- A 11.4 years. Four patients were drop out the study. Thirty-four patients fell and 2 had fractures during 1 year. Falls were found to be correlated with age, visual analogue score for pain, previous falls, use of assistive devices for ambulation, use of two or more medications and ability to do heel-toe walking. In the multivariate regression analysis, previous falls and use of assistive device for ambulation were found to be independent risk factors for falls (p = 0.004 OR 3.3 95 % CI 1.5-7.4, p = 0.001 OR 6.2 95 % CI 2-19.1). Fall history in the last year and using an assistive ambulation device are the predictors of the falls.