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Falls present the most common cause of injury in old age and pose a serious threat to public health. Not only the physical injuries of falls can be devastating, but also simply the fear of falling can have major implications for quality of life, as well impacting on the level of physical activity, ability and participation in the community. Much research has been done to determine the most important risk factors for falls and fall-related injuries in older people living in residential care settings and in the community. Impaired gait and balance are among the most consistently reported factors that increase the risk of falling; other commonly reported factors include old age, history of falls, impaired vision, medical conditions and use of multiple medications.
Results of the thorough systematic review and meta-analysis by Muir and colleagues confirm that balance impairment is …
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