Purpose: To assess the prevalence and strength of association of risk factors for falling in Canadian veterans of World War II and Korea and their caregivers.
Methods: Questionnaires were sent to addresses of 3,000 Canadian veterans (response rate = 70%). Risk factors for falls and the frequency of falls and injurious falls in the past 12 months were collected.
Results: Veterans had more risk factors than did caregivers, and more had fallen in the past year (39.8% vs. 29.7%). Risk factors in the logistic model for veterans included lower extremity disability (odds ratio = 1.98, 95% confidence interval 1.5–2.6); lower extremity weakness (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.3–2.3); worse memory than peers (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.1–2.5); one or more visits to the family doctor in the past month (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.2–2.0); and worse memory than 5 years ago (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.0–1.8).
Conclusions: Veterans appear more frail and prone to falling than their caregivers.