Gender differences in association between measures of central obesity and falls in community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults in Malaysia

Sheng Hui Kioh, S Mat, G J Tan, S B Kamaruzzaman, R. Cumming, N N Hairi, Phyo Kyaw Myint* (Corresponding Author), M P Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background/Purpose: Conflicting findings of the previous studies on association of obesity and fall may be attributed to the potential limitations associated with utilizing body mass index (BMI) to define obesity. Therefore, we aim to evaluate the relationship between central obesity measures waist circumference (WC) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) with falls in individuals recruited to the Malaysian Elders Longitudinal Research (MELoR) study.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using first-wave MELoR
data. Sociodemographic, medical history, lifestyle factors, self-reported falls,
measures of central obesity (WC & WHR), and physical performance were
obtained. Individuals were considered in the high fall risk group if they either
had a history of falls in the past 12 months or had a timed-up and go (TUG)
score of ≥13.5s.
Results: Data on WC and WHR were available for 1,335 participants, 574
(43.0%) men. No difference in self-reported falls or falls risk across WC
quartiles among men but women in the third quartile (87cm <WC <97cm)
were significantly more likely to have self-reported falls than those in the
lowest quartile (reference group), odds ratio (OR)=2.05, 95% confidence
interval (CI)=1.17-3.60.
Conclusion: A ‘J’ shaped relationship was apparent among men between
WHR and probability of being considered at high risk of falls. Among women,
those with WC in the third quartile and WHR in the highest quartile were
significantly more likely to have fallen in the past 12 months.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalAging Medicine and Healthcare
Volume12
Issue number3
Early online date30 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • central obesity
  • accidental falls
  • aged
  • adiposity

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