Post-stroke patients with moderate function have the greatest risk of falls: a National Cohort Study.


BACKGROUND:Stroke patients have increased risks of falls. We examined national registry data to evaluate the association between post-stroke functional level and the risk of low falls among post-stroke patients. METHODS:This retrospective cohort study analyzed data from national registries to examine the risk factors for post-stroke falls. Data for patients who suffered ischemic strokes and survived the index hospital admission was obtained from the Singapore National Stroke Registry and matched to the National Trauma Registry, from 2011 to 2015. The primary outcome measure was a low fall (fall height ≤ 0.5 m). Competing risk analysis was performed to examine the association between functional level (by modified Rankin score [mRS] at discharge) and the risk of subsequent low falls. RESULTS:In all, 2255 patients who suffered ischemic strokes had recorded mRS. The mean age was 66.6 years and 58.5% were men. By the end of 2015, 54 (2.39%) had a low fall while 93 (4.12%) died. After adjusting for potential confounders, mRS was associated with fall risk with an inverted U-shaped relationship. Compared to patients with a score of zero, the sub-distribution hazard ratio (SHR) increased to a maximum of 3.42 (95%CI:1.21-9.65, p = 0.020) for patients with a score of 2. The SHR then declined to 2.45 (95%CI:0.85-7.12, p = 0.098), 2.86 (95%CI:0.95-8.61, p = 0.062) and 1.93 (95%CI:0.44-8.52, p = 0.38) for patients with scores of 3, 4 and 5 respectively. CONCLUSIONS:An inverted U-shaped relationship between functional status and fall risk was observed. This is consistent with the complex interplay between decreasing mobility (hence decreased opportunity to fall) and increasing susceptibility to falls. Fall prevention intervention could be targeted accordingly. (263 words).





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Publication Info

Wei, Wycliffe E, Deirdre A De Silva, Hui Meng Chang, Jiali Yao, David B Matchar, Sherry HY Young, Siew Ju See, Gek Hsiang Lim, et al. (2019). Post-stroke patients with moderate function have the greatest risk of falls: a National Cohort Study. BMC geriatrics, 19(1). p. 373. 10.1186/s12877-019-1377-7 Retrieved from

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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