Stroke patients are at increased risk of falls and fractures. The aim of this study was to determine the rate, predictors and consequences of falls within 2 years after stroke in a prospective population-based study in North Dublin, Ireland. Prospective population-based cohort study. 567 adults aged >18 years from the North Dublin Population Stroke Study. Participants were enrolled from an Irish urban population of 294,592 individuals, according to recommended criteria. Patients were followed for 2 years. Outcome measures included death, modified Rankin Scale (mRS), fall and fracture rate. At 2 years, 23.5% (124/522) had fallen at least once since their stroke, 14.2% (74/522) had 2 or more falls and 5.4% (28/522) had a fracture. Of 332 survivors at 2 years, 107 (32.2%) had fallen, of whom 60.7% (65/107) had 2 or more falls and 23.4% (25/107) had fractured. In a multivariable model controlling for age and gender, independent risk factors for falling within the first 2 years of stroke included use of alpha-blocker medications for treatment of hypertension (P = 0.02). When mobility measured at Day 90 was included in the model, patients who were mobility impaired (mRS 2-3) were at the highest risk of falling within 2 years of stroke [odds ratio (OR) 2.30, P = 0.003] and those functionally dependent (mRS 4-5) displayed intermediate risk (OR 2.02, P = 0.03) when compared with independently mobile patients. Greater attention to falls risk, fall prevention strategies and bone health in the stroke population are required.
University College Dublin ->