Relationship between lower limb strength and socio-economical background to falls among community dwelling Chinese elderly persons

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Relationship between lower limb strength and socio-economical background to falls among community dwelling Chinese elderly persons

 

Author: Wong, Suk-yin
Title: Relationship between lower limb strength and socio-economical background to falls among community dwelling Chinese elderly persons
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1997
Subject: Falls (Accidents) in old age
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Pages: x, 109 p. : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1410562
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2224
Abstract: The main aims of this study are i) to evaluate the difference in lower limbs strength between elderly fallers and non-fallers, ii) to investigate the relationship between the total peak torque, total power and different socio-economical background with the probability of fall among a group of community dwelling Chinese elderly persons. The knee and ankle strength of a group of 20 community dwelling Chinese elderly persons at mean age 73.75 with a history of fall in one year prior to the study period were compared with sex and age matched controls (mean age 72.25). Peak torque and power of knee extension, knee flexion, ankle plantarflexion and ankle dorsiflexion were measured with Cybex 6000 at a speed of 120o/s. The relationships between the total peak torque, total power and socio-economical background of the subjects and the probability of fall of these subjects were also evaluated. The results reveal no significant difference found in the normalized peak torque and power value between the fallers and the non-fallers (p = 0.75 & 0.57 respectively, not significant). However, the normalized mean peak torque and power value of knee flexor were found to be greater than that of knee extensor in the fallers group. More fallers were living alone, living in buildings with lift access, widowed and educated. Significant relationship between 'marital status' (single/ widowed and married) and the 'educational level' of the subjects (no education, kindergarden level or above) with the probability of fall were demonstrated (R = 0.27 and -0.22, odds = 6.67 and 0.18, p = 0.01 and 0.03 respectively). The probability of fall for those elderly who are single/widowed is 6.67 times that of those elderly who are married. On the contrary, the probability of fall of those elderly with no education at all is shown to be 0.18 times of those elderly who are educated (kindergarden level or above). Due to the small sample size, this investigation is not conclusive in whether lower limbs weakness is present among fallers. Lower limbs muscle weakness might be related to fall, however, this relationship might be modified by other factors such as lifestyle and socio-economical background, etc. Further investigation is therefore necessary to evaluate this complex relationship between fall, lower limbs strength and socio-economical background.

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