Fractures among patients with dizziness – a ten-year follow-up.

The number of elderly people persons suffering from dizziness is substantial, and dizziness is a risk factor for falls and fractures. Fall-related fractures represent a major public health issue. Longitudinal studies can help find ways of predicting fall-related fractures among frail elderly persons with multisensory dizziness. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate whether different measures of balance, being male/female or admission to hospital, could predict fracture at a ten-year follow-up in patients suffering from multisensory dizziness.

Patients who had participated in two earlier (ten years previous) dizziness studies were sought in the local health authority’s patient administrative system. Information was extracted regarding patient hospitalization, for fractures or for any other reason, during the ten-year period. Logistic regression was used to analyse the relations between clinical balance measures, vestibular rehabilitation, admission to hospital, sex, and fracture.

There was no difference between the group of patients with fracture and the group of patients without fracture, regarding balance measures at baseline or admission to hospital for reasons other than fracture. There was no difference between men and women in any of the measures.

This study did not identify any predictors of fracture. Thus, among frail elderly, attention to fall risk should be equally high regardless of patient history.

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