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Factors associated with falls in older women with breast cancer: the use of a brief geriatric screening tool in clinic.

Bartlett DB, Broadwater G, White HK, Shelby R, Zullig LL, Robertson J, Kanesvaran R, Cohen HJ, Kimmick G. Factors associated with falls in older women with breast cancer: the use of a brief geriatric screening tool in clinic. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2020 Nov 1; 184(2):445-457.

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PURPOSE: Unintentional falls and breast cancer are common among older women, but the associations between them are understudied. We aimed to identify factors associated with falls in older women with breast cancer. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed clinical records of older women with breast cancer at Duke Medical Center who had completed the Senior Adult Oncology Program geriatric assessment. Characteristics were compared between women had had at least one fall in the past year and those who did not. Pearson's Chi-square tests and t tests were used for comparison of groups' characteristics. Logistic regression determined factors associated with falling. RESULTS: We identified 425 women, age 76.2 years (range 65-89 years), at the time of the assessment. 118 (27.8%) women reported a fall in the prior year. Age, race, ethnicity, and time since diagnosis (all p > 0.05) were similar between groups. In univariate analyses, metastatic disease (p = 0.023) and history of endocrine therapy (p = 0.042) were more common among women who fell. Women who fell had lower systolic (p = 0.001), diastolic (p < 0.001) blood pressures, and SpO (p = 0.018). Women who had fallen had a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI: p = 0.033), and were more likely to report using a walking aide (p < 0.001), nutritional issues (p = 0.006), and depression symptoms (p = 0.038). In multivariate analysis, falling was associated with low DBP (OR 0.93; p = 0.0017), low SpO (OR 0.79; p = 0.0169), a higher CCI (OR 1.23; p = 0.0076), and depression symptoms (OR 1.61; p = 0.039). CONCLUSIONS: Among older women with breast cancer, depressive symptoms, higher comorbidity level, and vital sign measurements were associated with having fallen.

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