Impaired postural control in diabetes-a predictor of falls?

Nicklas Højgaard-Hessellund Rasmussen*, Jakob Dal, Morten Hasselstrøm Jensen, Annika Vestergaard Kvist, Joop van den Bergh, Rogerio Pessoto Hirata, Peter Vestergaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


UNLABELLED: New evidence points toward that impaired postural control judged by center of pressure measures during quiet stance is a predictor of falls in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes-even in occurrence of well-known risk factors for falls.

INTRODUCTION/AIM: People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are at risk of falling, but the association with impaired postural control is unclear. Therefore, the aim was to investigate postural control by measuring the center of pressure (CoP) during quiet standing and to estimate the prevalence ratio (PR) of falls and the fear of falling among people with diabetes compared to controls.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, participants with T1D (n = 111) and T2D (n = 106) and controls without diabetes (n = 328) were included. Study procedures consisted of handgrip strength (HGS), vibration perception threshold (VPT), orthostatism, visual acuity, and postural control during quiet stance measured by CoPArea (degree of body sway) and CoPVelocity (speed of the body sway) with "eyes open," "eyes closed" in combination with executive function tasks. A history of previous falls and fear of falling was collected by a questionnaire. CoPArea and CoPVelocity measurements were analyzed by using a multiple linear regression model. The PR of falls and the fear of falling were estimated by a Poisson regression model. Age, sex, BMI, previous falls, alcohol use, drug, HGS, VPT, orthostatism, episodes of hypoglycemia, and visual acuity were covariates in multiple adjusted analyses.

RESULTS: Significantly larger mean CoPArea measures were observed for participants with T1D (p = 0.022) and T2D (0.002), whereas mean CoPVelocity measures were only increased in participants with T2D (p = 0.027) vs. controls. Additionally, T1D and T2D participants had higher PRs for falls (p = 0.044, p = 0.014) and fear of falling (p = 0.006, p < 0.001) in the crude analyses, but the PRs reduced significantly when adjusted for mean CoPArea and mean CoPVelocity, respectively. Furthermore, multiple adjusted PRs were significantly higher than crude the analyses. CONCLUSION: Impaired postural control during quiet stance was seen in T1D and T2D compared with controls even in the occurrence of well-known risk factors. and correlated well with a higher prevalence of falls.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Number of pages16
JournalArchives of Osteoporosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2022


  • Humans
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology
  • Hand Strength
  • Accidental Falls
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fear
  • Postural Balance

Cite this