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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 362572, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Risk of Falls in Parkinson’s Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study of 160 Patients

1Unidad de Investigación en Trastornos del Movimiento, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Hospital Gregorio Marañón, 28007 Madrid, Spain
2Servicio de Neurología, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, C/ Doctor Esquerdo 46, 28007 Madrid, Spain

Received 2 August 2011; Revised 5 September 2011; Accepted 23 September 2011

Academic Editor: Jan O. Aasly

Copyright © 2012 Ana Contreras and Francisco Grandas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Falls are a major source of disability in Parkinson’s disease. Risk factors for falling in Parkinson’s disease remain unclear. To determine the relevant risk factors for falling in Parkinson’s disease, we screened 160 consecutive patients with Parkinson’s disease for falls and assessed 40 variables. A comparison between fallers and nonfallers was performed using statistical univariate analyses, followed by bivariate and multivariate logistic regression, receiver-operating characteristics analysis, and Kaplan-Meier curves. 38.8% of patients experienced falls since the onset of Parkinson’s disease (recurrent in 67%). Tinetti Balance score and Hoehn and Yahr staging were the best independent variables associated with falls. The Tinetti Balance test predicted falls with 71% sensitivity and 79% specificity and Hoehn and Yahr staging with 77% sensitivity and 71% specificity. The risk of falls increased exponentially with age, especially from 70 years onward. Patients aged >70 years at the onset of Parkinson’s disease experienced falls significantly earlier than younger patients.