|Title||Physical Activity and Falls Among a National Cohort of Older Veterans|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||Marciniak, D, Alexander, NB, Hoffman, GJ|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Gerontology|
|Type of Article||Journal|
|Keywords||Aging, Disability, Falls, Physical activity, Veterans|
The more than 20 million U.S. veterans have a history of physical activity engagement but face increasing disability as they age. Falls are common among older adults, but there is little evidence on veterans’ fall risk. We conducted a retrospective cohort study using 48,643 observations from 14,831 older (≥65 years) Americans from the 2006–2014 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. Veterans reported more noninjurious falls (26.6% vs. 24.0%, p < .002), but fewer fall-related injuries (8.9% vs. 12.3%, p < .001) than nonveterans. In adjusted analyses, for each 5-year increase in age, the odds of a noninjurious fall were greater for veterans (odds ratio [OR] = 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.01, 1.10]) and, among those with regular physical activity, the odds were lower for veterans compared with nonveterans (OR = 0.89; 95% CI = [0.81, 0.99]). For veterans, physical activity engagement may prove a particularly effective mechanism for reducing the aging-related risks associated with falls and fall injuries.