Biomarkers of aging and falling: the Beaver Dam eye study.

Kleins Lab // Publications // Jul 01 2009

PubMed ID: 18513808

Author(s): Knudtson MD, Klein BE, Klein R. Biomarkers of aging and falling: the Beaver Dam Eye Study. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009 Jul-Aug;49(1):22-6. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2008.04.006. Epub 2008 May 29. PMID 18513808

Journal: Archives Of Gerontology And Geriatrics, Volume 49, Issue 1,

Falls are an important cause of morbidity in older adults and are an important source of health care spending. We hypothesize that falls are associated with systemic biomarkers of aging. The following functions, measured at the 1998-2000 and 2003-2005 examinations of the Beaver Dam eye study, were considered to be biomarkers of aging (frailties): poorer visual acuity, contrast sensitivity or discrepant vision between the eyes, inability to rise from a chair, slower gait time, poorer hand grip strength, and lower peak expiratory flow rate. We found that poorer values on biomarkers of aging (frailties) at the 1998-2000 examination were associated with two or more reported falls in the past year at the 2003-2005 examination (p<0.05 for all markers except peak expiratory flow rate). When the markers were combined as an index of biological aging (frailty), the index was significantly associated with falls after controlling for significant confounders (odds ratio per one step increase in the index: 1.33; 95% confidence interval=CI=1.13-1.57). We conclude that biomarkers of aging, including any of three measures of visual function, are associated with falls. Improvement in these functional measures may lead to decreased risk of falls.