A Five-Year Prospective Evaluation of Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden and Falls in the Malaysian Elders Longitudinal Research (MELoR) study

Xiang Jiang Xu, Phyo Kyaw Myint, Sheng Hui Kioh, Sumaiyah Mat, Reena Rajasuriar, Shahrul Bahyah Kamaruzzaman, Tan Maw Pin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
While anticholinergic use is associated with stroke, dementia and mortality, few have evaluated its potential link with falls. To determine the relationship between anticholinergic cognitive burden (ACB) and falls over five years using the Malaysian Elders Longitudinal Research (MELoR).

Methods
Community-dwelling adults aged 55 years and over were recruited through electoral roll sampling. Data obtained at baseline and follow-up (FU) at two and five years were included. Falls in the preceding 12 months were recorded.

Results
Of the 1499 individuals (mean (SD) age= 68.9(7.5) yrs and 53.3% female) with information on baseline ACB exposure, 575(38.4%) had ACB scores of 1-2 and 117(7.8%) had ACB scores . Differences in age, ethnicity, smoking status, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and education existed between ACB groups. Fall occurrence differed between ACB groups at recruitment (p = 0.004) and 2-year FU (p = 0.001) but not at 5-year FU (p = 0.053). Logistic regression revealed an independent association between ACB 1-2 and falls at baseline (odds ratio, OR (95% confidence interval, CI) =1.412(1.035-1.926)) and ACB and falls at 2-yr FU (OR (95%CI) =2.098(1.032-4.263)) following adjustment for confounders.

Conclusion
Low level exposure to drugs with anticholinergic properties was associated cross-sectionally with falls, while exposure to higher levels were prospectively associated with falls at 2-year but not at 5-year FU. Future studies should determine whether avoidance of drugs with anticholinergic effects will lead to reduction in falls.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104535
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume98
Early online date30 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Anticholinergic cognitive burden
  • Falls
  • Elders
  • Longitudinal
  • Malaysia

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