Low hemoglobin levels and recurrent falls in U.S. Men and Women: Prospective findings from the REasons for Geographic and racial differences in stroke (REGARDS) cohort

Academic Article


  • Background: There are few data available on low hemoglobin and incident falls in the general U.S. population. METHODS: Of 30,239 black and white U.S. adults ≥45 years in the population-based REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke study, 16,782 had hemoglobin measured at baseline and follow-up data on falls. Hemoglobin was categorized by 1.0 g/dL increments relative to the World Health Organization anemia threshold (<13.0 g/dL for men, <12.0 g/dL for women). Recurrent falls (≥2 falls in the 6 months after baseline) were assessed during a telephone interview. RESULTS: Recurrent falls occurred in 3.9% of men and 4.8% of women. Compared with those with a hemoglobin level 1 to 2 g/dL above the anemia cut-off, multivariable adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for recurrent falls associated with hemoglobin levels ≥3, 2 to <3 and 0 to 1 g/dL above the cut-off point, and 0 to <1 and ≥1 g/dL below the cut-off point were 0.73 (0.45-1.19), 0.84 (0.57-1.24), 1.29 (0.88-1.90), 1.32 (0.0.80-1.2.18) and 2.12 (1.23-3.63), respectively, among men (linear trend P < 0.001), and 1.59 (1.10-2.3), 1.24 (0.95-1.62), 1.42(1.11-1.81), 1.28 (0.91-1.80) and 1.76 (1.13-2.74), respectively, among women (linear trend P = 0.45; quadratic trend P = 0.016). CONCLUSIONS: Among men, lower hemoglobin levels were associated with an increased risk for recurrent falls. Although our findings suggest an increased risk for recurrent falls at both lower and higher hemoglobin levels among women, these findings should be confirmed in subsequent studies. © 2013 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
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    Author List

  • Bowling CB; Muntner P; Bradbury BD; Kilpatrick RD; Isitt JJ; Warriner AH; Curtis JR; Judd S; Brown CJ; Allman RM
  • Start Page

  • 446
  • End Page

  • 454
  • Volume

  • 345
  • Issue

  • 6