This finding also extends to those diagnosed with planus foot posture (flat feet), indicating that both foot pain and foot posture may play a role in falls among older adults.
Using data from the Framingham Foot study, researchers found that foot pain and foot posture were not associated with any one fall; however, in the case of multiple falls, foot pain and foot posture were often a factor. "We know that having more than one fall can be of concern.
However, higher odds of recurrent falls were seen for those with foot pain, especially severe foot pain, as well as those with planus foot posture, indicating that both foot pain and foot posture may play a role in falls," said Marian Hannan, Co -Director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Institute for Aging Research and Associate Professor of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health. "This is important because falls are a serious problem for older adults.
With this new knowledge we hope to find more solutions to lessen the risk of falls in older adults," said Lead author Arunima Awale, Research Associate at Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research.
More than 30 percent of individuals over the age of 65 fall at least once a year.
This figure increases to over 40% for persons aged 75 years or older.
This study was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease and National Institute of Aging (grant number AR047853); and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study N01-HC-25195).
Article: Foot Function, Foot Pain, and Falls in Older Adults: The Framingham Foot Study, Awale A.a · Hagedorn T.J.b · Dufour A.B.a,c,d · Menz H.B.f · Casey V.A.e · Hannan M.T., Gerontology, doi: 10.1159/000475710, published online 9 May 2017.