The prevalence and impact of falls in elderly dialysis patients Frail elderly Patient Outcomes on Dialysis (FEPOD) study

Ismay N. van Loon*, Hanneke Joosten, Osasuyi Iyasere, Lina Johansson, Marije E. Hamaker, Edwina A. Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: As the numbers of older patients on dialysis rise, geriatric problems such as falling become more prevalent. We aimed to assess the prevalence of falls and the impact on mortality and quality of life in frail elderly patients on assisted PD (aPD) and hemodialysis (HD) from the FEPOD Study.

Methods: Data on falls and quality of life were collected with questionnaires at baseline and every six months during 2-year follow-up. Multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate factors associated with falls. Additionally, we performed a review of literature concerning the relation between falls and poor outcome.

Results: Baseline fall data were available for 203 patients and follow-up data for 114 patients. Dialysis modality was equally distributed (49% HD and 51% aPD). Mean (SD) age was 75 +/- 7 years. Fall rate was 1.00 falls/ patient year, comparable in HD and aPD. Falls led to fear of falling, resulting in less activities in 68% vs 42% (p <0.01) and leaving the house less in 59% vs 31% (p <0.01) of patients. Patients with diabetes mellitus were twice as likely to report falls at baseline (OR 1.91 [95%CI 1.00-3.63], p = 0.05) and falls at baseline were associated with falls during follow-up (OR 2.53 [95%CI 1.06-6.04] p = 0.03). Literature revealed frailty was a strong risk factor for falling and falling results in a higher mortality and hospitalization rate.

Conclusion: Falls were frequent in older dialysis patients and have a negative impact on quality of life. Fall incidence is comparable between aPD and HD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Dialysis
  • Falls
  • Quality of life
  • Fractures
  • RISK
  • FEAR

Cite this