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The objective of this study was to measure gait abnormalities in elderly fallers with the Locometrix™ gait-analysis system. This accelerometric device provided the following gait variables: walking speed and stride frequency, length, symmetry, and regularity. The variables were analyzed over a 20-s period of stable walking on a flat track of 40 m. Participants were 20 elderly patients hospitalized for falls (mean age 80.8 ± 5.0 years) and 33 older adults living at home (mean age 77.2 ± 6.5 years). All gait variables were found to be significantly lower in the faller group (p < .05). The lower gait speed, stride length, and stride frequency were previously recognized as nonrelevant in predicting the risk of falling, whereas lower stride symmetry was related to an underlying pathology and lower stride regularity was correlated to the risk of falls. The Locometrix appears to be well suited to measure gait regularity in routine practice.
Auvinet is with the Service de Rhumatologie, and Touzard, Moutel, and Collet are with the Service de Gérontologie, Hôpital de Laval, 53015 LAVAL, Cedex, France. Berrut is with Service de Gérontologie clinique, CHU d’Angers, 49033 ANGERS, Cedex. Chaleil is with the Service de Pharmacie clinique, Faculté de Pharmacie, 49045 ANGERS Cedex. Barrey is with INRA–SGQA, 78352 Jouy en Josas, Cedex.