Daytime sleepiness and poor quality of sleep affect recurrent fall risk in the elderly, according to data presented at SLEEP 2017: 31st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, held June 3 to 7 in Boston, Massachusetts.1

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center analyzed data collected from 3549 patients (mean age, 84 years) in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures to determine the relationship among sleep disturbances, poor sleep quality, excessive daytime sleepiness, and recurrent falls in sedative hypnotic medication users.

Excessive daytime sleepiness was defined as a score of >10 on the Epworth sleepiness scale; poor sleep quality was collected via self-report, and defined as a score of >5 using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Self-report data for previous, recurrent falls were collected and used for analysis.

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Logistic regression models were applied to the data; sedative use, including antihistamine, sedative antidepressants or benzodiazepines, benzodiazepine receptor agonists, and supplements (melatonin, valerian), were independent factors. Age, BMI, self-rated health, depression, anxiety, assistive device use, vision, and comorbidities were covariates for the analysis.

Excessive daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality were significantly associated with recurrent falls (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 1.53; 95% CI, 1.20-2.12; P =.01); having both excessive daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality doubled the odds of recurrent falls within the next year (OR: 1.99; 95% CI, 1.38-3.04; P =.001).

“Excessive daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality are associated with recurrent falls in women, and the association is clearly identifiable in those not using sedatives,” the researchers concluded.

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  1. Tyagi S, Perera S, Hanlon J, Buysse D. Poor sleep is associated with recurrent falls among older women in the study of osteoporotic fractures. Presented at: SLEEP 2017: 31st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies June 3-7, 2017; Boston, MA. Abstract 1007.

This article originally appeared on Endocrinology Advisor