Obesity and Falls in a Prospective Study of Older Men: The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study

Elizabeth R. Hooker, Smriti Shrestha, Christine G. Lee, Peggy M. Cawthon, Melanie Abrahamson, Kris Ensrud, Marcia L. Stefanick, Thuy Tien Dam, Lynn M. Marshall, Eric S. Orwoll, Carrie M. Nielson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate fall rates across body mass index (BMI) categories by age group, considering physical performance and comorbidities. Method: In the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) study, 5,834 men aged ≥65 reported falls every 4 months over 4.8 (±0.8) years. Adjusted associations between BMI and an incident fall were tested using mixed-effects models. Results: The fall rate (0.66/man-year overall, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.65, 0.67]) was lowest in the youngest, normal weight men (0.44/man-year, 95% CI = [0.41, 0.47]) and greatest in the oldest, highest BMI men (1.47 falls/man-year, 95% CI = [1.22, 1.76]). Obesity was associated with a 24% to 92% increased fall risk in men below 80 (ptrend ≤.0001, p for interaction by age =.03). Only adjustment for dynamic balance test altered the BMI-falls association substantially. Discussion: Obesity was independently associated with higher fall rates in men 65 to 80 years old. Narrow walk time, a measure of gait stability, may mediate the association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1250
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of aging and health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

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© The Author(s) 2016.


  • BMI
  • falls
  • obesity


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