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

13 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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study is supported by National Institutes of Health funding. The following institutes provide support: the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research under the following grant numbers: U01 AR45580, U01 AR45614, U01 AR45632, U01 AR45647, U01 AR45654, U01 AR45583, U01 AG18197, U01 AG027810, and UL1 RR024140. C.M.N. receives support from NIAMS K01 AR062655. C.G.L. receives support from a VA Clinical Science Research and Development Career Development Award, Project number 5IK2CW000729-02.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.


  • BMI
  • falls
  • obesity


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