Background: The aims were to assess the frequency of falls among the diabetic adult population of the Italian Northeastern region Friuli Venezia Giulia and to identify risk factors.
Methods: This was a population-based retrospective cohort study using administrative data of the regional health information system as the source of information. In a cohort of diabetics 18 years of age or more, living in the region on December 31, 2014, the occurrence of falls requiring a visit to the regional Emergency Rooms was assessed. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with increased risk of falling.
Results: Of 80,162 cohort subjects, 2967 (3.7%) had at least one fall requiring a visit to ER. Factors associated with increased risk of falling were female sex, older age, prescription of a thiazolidinedione as the last antidiabetic medication in 2014, increasing number of active principles prescribed in 2014, longer diabetes duration, and prescription of certain classes of medications other than antidiabetics in 2014.
Conclusions: In Friuli Venezia Giulia, injurious falls are a complication of diabetes relevant from the public health viewpoint. Efforts are needed to screen diabetic patients, review their prescriptions, provide appropriate care, and implement targeted interventions to minimize the individual risk of falls.