Risk Factors Are Identified for Falls Among Postmenopausal Women

Results of a new meta-analysis have identified the sociodemographic risk factors and medical risk factors for falls among postmenopausal women.

“Falling often leads to restricted activities, social isolation, increased disability, and death. Therefore, it is important to identify the risk factors for falls and implement preventive measures early,” the researchers wrote. “For the first time, this meta-analysis systematically and quantitatively analyzed the correlations between falls and some potential risk factors in postmenopausal women, which may be helpful for informing strategies for the prevention of falls in this group in the future.”

After analyzing 19 potential sociodemographic and medical risk factors among postmenopausal women, the researchers determined that older age, higher body weight, higher body mass index, lack of physical exercise, higher Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I) scores, dietary calcium intake, previous fracture history, previous falls, and more coexisting diseases were risk factors for falls among this patient population. 

To make this determination, the researchers had identified 11 observational studies on the risk factors for falls in postmenopausal women from the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and EMBASE databases. The studies comprised 42,429 patients from 7 countries.

In addition to the risk factors identified in the present analysis, there may be other risk factors beyond these, the researchers noted. 

“Despite these findings, we still cannot rule out the possibility that some other variables are also risk factors (age at the onset of menopause, years since last menstruation, hormone therapy, and bone mineral density),” they concluded.

—Colleen Murphy


Zhao J, Liang G, Huang H, et al. Identification of risk factors for falls in postmenopausal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int.2020;31(10):1895-1904. doi:10.1007/s00198-020-05508-8