Cardiovascular disease and the risk of incident falls and mortality among adults aged ≥ 65 years presenting to the emergency department: a cohort study from national registry data in Denmark

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Background: Falls cause 58% of injury-related Emergency Department (ED) attendances. Previous research has highlighted the potential role of cardiovascular risk factors for falls. This study investigated the impact of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk on three-year incident falls, with presentation to the ED, and mortality. Methods: A matched cohort study design was employed using national registry data from 82,292 adults (33% male) aged ≥ 65 years living in Denmark who attended the ED in 2013. We compared age and gender matched ED attendees presenting with a fall versus another reason. The cohort was followed for three-year incident falls, with presentation to the ED, and mortality. The impact of falls-related CVDs was also examined. Results: Three-year incident falls was twofold higher among age and gender matched ED attendees aged ≥ 65 years presenting with a fall versus another reason at baseline. A presentation of falls with hip fracture had the highest percentage of incident falls in the 65–74 age group (22%) and the highest percentage mortality in all age groups (27–62%). CVD was not a significant factor in presenting with a fall at the ED, nor did it contribute significantly to the prediction of three-year incident falls. CVD was strongly associated with mortality risk among the ED fall group (RR = 1.81, 95% CI: 1.67–1.97) and showed interactions with both age and fall history. Conclusion: In this large study of adults aged ≥ 65 years attending the ED utilising data from national administrative registers in Denmark, we confirm that older adults attending the ED with a fall, including those with hip fracture, were at greatest risk for future falls. While CVD did not predict incident falls, it increased the risk of mortality in the three-year follow up with advancing age. This may be informative for the provision of care pathways for older adults attending the ED due to a fall.

Original languageEnglish
Article number93
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Cardiovascular disease, ED, Falls, Mortality

ID: 381499894