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Journal Article


Johansson J, Jarocka E, Westling G, Nordström A, Nordström P. Hum. Mov. Sci. 2019; 66: 117-123.


Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






BACKGROUND: We have previously shown that objective measurements of postural sway predicts fall risk, although it is currently unknown how limits of stability (LOS) might influence these results. RESEARCH QUESTION: How integrated postural sway and LOS measurements predict the risk of incident falls in a population-based sample of older adults.

METHODS: The sample for this prospective observational study was drawn from the Healthy Ageing Initiative cohort and included data collected between June 2012 and December 2016 for 2396 men and women, all 70 years of age. LOS was compared to postural sway with measurements during eyes-open (EO) and eyes-closed (EC) trials, using the previously validated Wii Force Plate. Fall history was assessed during baseline examination and incident falls were collected during follow-up at 6 and 12 months. Independent predictors of incident falls and additional covariates were investigated using multiple logistic regression models.

RESULTS: During follow-up, 337 out of 2396 participants (14%) had experienced a fall. Unadjusted regression models from the EO trial revealed increased fall risk by 6% (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.11) per each centimeter squared increase in sway area and by 16% (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.07-1.25) per 1-unit increase in Sway-Area-to-LOS ratio. Odds ratios were generally lower when analyzing EC trials and only slightly attenuated in fully adjusted models. SIGNIFICANCE: Integrating postural sway and LOS parameters provides valid fall risk prediction and a holistic analysis of postural stability. Future work should establish normative values and evaluate clinical utility of these measures.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Cohort study; Incident falls; LOS; Objective measures; Postural sway


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