Affiliations: The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, NSW, Australia | Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia | Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia | Statistics Department, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW, Australia | Movement Disorders Unit, Department of Neurology, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW, Australia | Neuroscience Research Australia, UNSW, Randwick, NSW, Australia | Prince of Wales Clinical School, UNSW, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW, Australia
Note:  Correspondence to: Dr. Serene S. Paul, The George Institute for Global Health, Australia. Tel.: +61 2 9657 0300; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Fall frequency varies among individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). We aimed to determine whether risk factors that distinguish PD fallers from non-fallers are influenced by frequent falls. 205 people with PD participated in a 6-month prospective study. Factors in previously published fall risk models were analyzed for their associations with fall rates and frequent fallers. Fall history, freezing and impaired reactive balance were associated with fall rates and the proportion of frequent fallers (p < 0.05). These models were highly accurate in discriminating frequent fallers (area under curve 0.84–0.87). Interventions to manage freezing and reduce balance impairment may reduce fall frequency.
Keywords: Parkinson disease, accidental falls, risk factors, postural balance