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Blacks, aged, elderly, falls, gait, near-falls, walking



  1. Basler, Geraldine V.
  2. O'Connell, Kathleen A.
  3. Bundy, Kristen


Background: Near-falls are a frequent, but not commonly studied, occurrence in the elderly Black population and may be related to prospective falls.


Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship of near-falls to demographic characteristics, use of assistive devices, gait, and physical activity levels in elderly Blacks.


Methods: Community-dwelling, elderly Black patients aging 65 and older and attending two clinics of the Mount Sinai Hospital in Harlem in New York City were recruited. The number of near-falls during the past year was self-reported using the Elderly Falls Screening Test. The Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity was used to assess aerobic and anaerobic activity levels. Backward stepwise logistic regression was used to identify predictors of near-falls.


Results: A total of 120 elderly Black adults took part in the study. Prevalence of occasional or frequent near-falls was 52.5%. In the final trimmed model, time of the 5-m observed walk (OR = 1.41, p = .001) and being male (OR = 3.68, p = .02) were significant predictors of near-fall experiences.


Discussion: Future research needs to be done in elderly Black populations to determine what factors may contribute to men experiencing more near-falls and on the relation between near-falls and falls.