Researchers examined older individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from the HIV infection, aging, and immune function long-term (HAILO) study to uncover regional variations in risk of recurrent falls. Their study, published in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, reported that fall risk varied by geographic region.

The study’s lead author, Mona Abdo, and colleagues observed that associations between geographic regions and recurrent falls appeared to be largely moderated by physical activity and obesity.

The study included 788 male and 192 female HAILO participants who reported falls in the six months before each semiannual visit, with one or more consecutive pair of falls assessments. The investigators used multinomial logistic regression models to examine associations between geographic regions and recurrent falls—defined as two or more over each one-year period—and tested whether physical activity, sex, or body mass index (BMI) altered the associations. Data were collected from the regions of Northeast (22%), Midwest (29%), South (20%), and West (29%) of the U.S.

Based on a total of 240 weeks of data, greater risk was seen in Midwestern (odds ratio [OR] = 2.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.29–4.28) and Southern (OR = 2.9; 1.09–4.01) participants compared to Western PLWH. In participants with higher physical activity levels, the Midwestern region again had higher odds of recurrent falls than the Western region. Additionally, among obese PLWH, the Southern region showed higher odds of recurrent falls than the Western region. According to the authors, sex did not modify any of the associations between regions and falls.

The authors ultimately concluded that associations existed between geographic regions and recurrent falls for older PLWH, and that physical activity levels and weight were the primary moderators for falling risk. According to the authors, these findings “may help identify subgroups of older [people living with HIV (PLWH)] for targeted falls screening/intervention.”

Source: AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses