The Role of Physical Activity and Physical Function on the Risk of Falls in Older Mexican Americans

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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We investigated the relationship between physical activity and physical function on the risk of falls over time in a cohort of Mexican-American adults aged 75 and older from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE). Participants were divided into four groups according to their level of physical activity and physical function: low physical activity and low physical function (n = 453); low physical activity and high physical function (n = 54); high physical activity and low physical function (n = 307); and high physical activity and high physical function (n = 197). Using generalized linear equation estimation, we showed that participants with high physical activity and low physical function had a greater fall risk over time, followed by the high physical activity and high physical function group. Participants seldom took part in activities that improve physical function. To prevent falls, modifications to physical activity should be made for older Mexican Americans.

Lewis, Ottenbacher, and Al Snih are with the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health and the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences/School of Health Professions, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX. Markides is with the Department of Preventive Medicineand Community Health and the Division of Sociomedical Sciences, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX.

Address author correspondence to Zakkoyya H. Lewis at zalewisp@utmb.edu.