Although a foot care program for long-term care prevention has been launched in Japan, few studies have examined its effectiveness. The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the association of foot problems with fall experience and fear of falling among Japanese community-dwelling elderly people. The participants were 10,581 community-dwelling elderly people (75.2 +/- 5.6 years) and the study design was cross-sectional using a questionnaire. Self-reported tinea pedis, skin problems (inflammation, swelling, or discoloration), nail problems (thickening or deformities), impairment (in function or blood flow), regular foot care, and wearing of appropriate shoes were selected as parameters of foot problems and their care. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine whether these were related to fall experience (in the past 1 year) and fear of falling adjusted for age, the Tokyo Metropolitan institute of gerontology index of competence, medical conditions, and lower limb functions. Forty-six percents of males and 39.0% of females reported at least one foot problem. After adjusting for covariates, tinea pedis (male: adjusted odds ratio = 1.37[95% confidence interval= 1.15-1.63], female: 1.29[1.08-1.53]), skin problems (male: 1.66[1.32-2.101, female: 1.37[1.13-1.66]), nail problems (male: 1.72[1.45-2.051, female: 1.48[1.26-1.74]), and functional impairment (male: 2.42[1.91-3.05], female: 1.66[1.36-2.04]) were significantly associated with fall experience. Also, each problem was negatively associated with fear of falling (tinea pedis[male: 1.37 [1.15-1.62], female: 1.25[1.07-1.47]], skin problems[male: 1.42[1.13-1.801, female: 1.62[1.34-2.00]], nail problems[male: 1.41[1.19-1.68], female: 1.46[1.25-1.70]], functional impairment [male: 2.05[1.61-2.60], female: 2.10[1.69-2.60]]). In addition, regular foot care (0.81[0.71-0.921) was a significant correlate of fear of falling in females. These results imply that focusing on foot problems (i.e., tinea pedis, skin problems, nail problems, functional impairment) would be one of means for fall preventions. Well-designed prospective studies evaluating foot problems objectively are now needed to confirm the relationships indicated by this study.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||[Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health|
|Publication status||Published - 2010 Aug|
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