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Journal Article


Rossi-Izquierdo M, Santos-Pérez S, Faraldo-García A, Vaamonde-Sánchez-Andrade I, Gayoso-Diz P, Del-Río-Valeiras M, Lirola-Delgado A, Soto-Varela A. Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 2015; 28(3): 423-428.


Department of Otolaryngology, University Hospital Lucus Augusti, Calle Dr. Ulises Romero, 1, 27003, Lugo, Spain,


(Copyright © 2015, Editrice Kurtis)






OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study is to assess whether obesity affects balance in elderly patients with postural instability. STUDY DESIGN: It is a case-control study, with cases defined by BMI ≥30 kg/m(2), and developed in a third level university hospital.

METHODS: We included 135 patients aged 65 years old or more who presented postural instability. Balance assessment was through the sensory organisation test (SOT), limits of stability (LOS) and rhythmic weight shift (RWS) of computerised dynamic posturography (CDP) and the modified timed up-and-go (TUG) test. The patients also completed the Dizziness Handicap Inventory and short Falls Efficacy Scale-International questionnaire.

RESULTS: Patients with obesity took longer to perform the modified TUG and required more steps. Also these patients had poorer scores in the subjective tests. In the CDP there were no significant differences in the SOT nor the LOS, and only there was a statistical significant difference in the anterior-posterior directional control of the RWS. Obese patients have a higher risk of fallings compared to non-obese patients.

CONCLUSION: In essence, our results indicate that obesity interferes in the balance of elderly patients with postural instability, putting them at a greater risk of fallings, performing worse dynamic tasks and feeling more disabled. Although continued education on training balance may be useful in older population, since the obese group shows more rate of fallers, rehabilitation programmes focus on dynamic tasks in these patients could be useful to reduce their fall risk and improve their quality of life.

Language: en


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