ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 P101 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.P101

Association between body mass index and the risk of falls: a nationwide population-based study

Se Hwa Kim1, Soo Kyung Kim2, Yoo Mee Kim1 & Young Jun Won1


1Catholic Kwandong University College of Medicine, International St. Mary’s Hospital, Incheon, Republic of Korea; 2CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, Seongnam, Republic of Korea.


Background: This study examined the associations between body mass index (BMI) and falls in Korean adults using data from a large population-based survey.

Methods: We analyzed 113,353 men and women (aged ≥50 years) who participated in Korean Community Health Survey in 2013. The BMI groups were classified as underweight (<18.5), normal weight (18.5≤ BMI< 24.9), overweight (25≤ BMI< 29.9), and obese (≥30). Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between BMI and falls.

Results: The mean (± standard deviation) age and BMI of all the participants were 63.8±9.6 years and 23.2±2.9 kg/m2. Among 113,353 study participants (52,784 men and 60,569 women), 4.5% were underweight and 1.7% were obese. Fifteen percent of men and 22% of women had a history of falls. The association between BMI and falls was different according to sex. The normal weight group showed the lowest risk of falls in women, but not in men. The odd ratio (OR) for falls associated with BMI <18.5, 25–29.9, and ≥30 kg/m2 were 0.99 (95% CI 0.87–1.14), 1.20 (95% CI 1.11–1.29), and 1.47 (95% CI 1.22–1.75) compared with women with BMI 18.5–24.9 kg/m2 after adjusting for multiple variables. Underweight men had a higher risk of falls compared with normal weight men (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.05–1.47). However, there was no difference of fall risk between normal weight, overweight, and obese men.

Conclusions: Overweight and obese women had an increased risk of falls than in normal weight women, whereas there was only a significant correlation between falls and underweight status in men.

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