Personality and falls among older adults: Evidence from a longitudinal cohort.

TitlePersonality and falls among older adults: Evidence from a longitudinal cohort.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsCanada, B, Stephan, Y, Sutin, AR, Terracciano, A
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology, Series B
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsFalls, Longitudinal data, Personality

OBJECTIVES: Falls can have catastrophic consequences, especially for older adults. The present study examined whether personality traits predict the incidence of falls in older age.

METHOD: Participants were older adults aged from 65 to 99 years (N = 4,759) drawn from the Health and Retirement Study. Personality traits and demographic factors were assessed at baseline. Falls were tracked for up to 11 years.

RESULTS: Over the follow-up period, 2,811 individuals reported falls. Cox regression analyses that included demographic covariates indicated that lower conscientiousness and higher neuroticism increased the risk of falling. Disease burden, depressive symptoms, and physical inactivity mediated the associations between both traits and falls incidence, whereas smoking status and handgrip strength mediated the neuroticism-falls incidence association.

DISCUSSION: This study provides new prospective evidence that personality predicts the incidence of falls in older adults and suggest that personality assessment may help identifying individuals at higher risk of falling.

Citation Key10056
PubMed ID30945733