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Cruz, D.T., Ribeiro, L.C., Vieira, M.T., et al. (2012) Prevalência de quedas e fatores associados em idosos. Revista de Saúde Pública, 46, 138-146.
KEYWORDS: Falls; Elderly; Quality of Life
ABSTRACT: Falls are accidental events and harmful to the healthy elderly. Its consequence can lead to the disability and the death. Accordingly, it becomes important to assess the relation between falls and quality of life. This theme is little studied in Brazil and internationally, especially in areas with large population bases. Objective: To identify the association between occurrence of fall and health-related quality of life (HRQL) using the SF-36 according to gender, age and schooling, among the elderly population of Campinas/Brazil. Methods: A cross-sectional, population-based study, using data from ISACAMP 2008. The present study analyzed only the population with 60 years old or more, totaling 1432 elderly individuals. The dependent variables were the eight SF-36 scale, version 2. The main independent variables were the falls occurred in the last 12 months and the limitation in activities daily living due to the falls. Analysis were carried out with the simple and multiple linear regression model in order to determine the associations between the dependent and main independent variables, using svy commands of STATA 11.0. Results: The prevalence of falls in the last year was 6.3%. The elderly individuals who referred to fall in the last 12 months exhibited the lowest score in seven of eight SF-36 scales, comparing with non-fallers. The association between fall and HRQL was greater in the male population. The elderly individuals who are older (75 or more) and located in the lower schooling stratum, and experienced falls also exhibited the lowest SF-36 scale scores, in physical and social functioning. Stratifying falls, considering those who cause limitations and those who do not, can be observed with the lowest scores in physical functioning, role physical, role emotion and social functioning, and only in the stratum of people who have limitations in daily living. Conclusion: The occurrence of falls can cause important limitations in the elderly individuals, and the limitations are associated with the worst health condition and quality of life. It is important to consider that the fragile elderly, especially in physical, social functioning, with pain, and role physical, are most vulnerable to experience falls, principally those who cause limitation.