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Can falls as a behavioural marker indicate development of dementia down-line?
  1. Karen Harrison-Dening
  1. Research & Publications, Dementia UK, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karen Harrison-Dening, Research & Publications, Dementia UK, London, UK; Karen.Harrison-Dening{at}

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Commentary on: Zhang L, Wang J, Dove A, Yang W, Qi X, Xu W. Injurious falls before, during and after dementia diagnosis: a population-based study. Age Ageing. 2022 Dec 5;51(12):afac299. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afac299.

Implications for practice and research

  • People with dementia show a higher incidence of falls four years before diagnosis.

  • There is a growing evidence of life-style risk factors for developing dementia in later life.

  • Further research is needed of the behavioural risks to developing dementia and interventions to mitigate those risks.


The incidence of falls increases with age with approximately a third of people over the age of 65 years experiencing one or more falls a year. These falls can result in significant injuries, such as a fracture or even death. Dementia is largely a condition associated with age and there is a growing interest and body …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.