It is difficult to distinguish unexplained falls (UFs) from accidental falls (AFs) or syncope in older people. This study was designed to compare patients referred to the emergency department (ED) for AFs, UFs or syncope. Data from a longitudinal study on adverse drug events diagnosed at the ED (ANCESTRAL-ED) in older people were analyzed in order to select cases of AF, syncope, or UF. A total of 724 patients (median age: 81.0 [65–105] years, 66.3% female) were consecutively admitted to the ED (403 AF, 210 syncope, and 111 UF). The number of psychotropic drugs was the only significant difference in patients with AF versus those with UF (odds ratio [OR] 1.44; 95% confidence interval 1.17–1.77). When comparing AF with syncope, female gender, musculoskeletal diseases, dementia, and systolic blood pressure >110 mmHg emerged as significantly associated with AF (OR 0.40 [0.27–0.58], 0.40 [0.24–0.68], 0.35 [0.14–0.82], and 0.31 [0.20–0.49], respectively), while valvulopathy and the number of antihypertensive drugs were significantly related to syncope (OR 2.51 [1.07–5.90] and 1.24 [1.07–1.44], respectively). Upon comparison of UF and syncope, the number of central nervous system drugs, female gender, musculoskeletal diseases, and SBP >110 mmHg were associated with UF (OR 0.65 [0.50–0.84], 0.52 [0.30–0.89], 0.40 [0.20–0.77], and 0.26 [0.13–0.55]), respectively. These results indicate specific differences, in terms of demographics, medical/pharmacological history, and vital signs, among older patients admitted to the ED for AF and syncope. UF was associated with higher use of psychotropic drugs than AF. Our findings could be helpful in supporting a proper diagnostic process when evaluating older patients after a fall.

Clinical differences among the elderly admitted to the emergency department for accidental or unexplained falls and syncope

PASQUALETTI, GIUSEPPE;CALSOLARO, VALERIA;BINI, GIACOMO;DELL'AGNELLO, UMBERTO;TUCCORI, MARCO;CAPOGROSSO SANSONE, ALICE;SANTINI, MASSIMO;ORSITTO, EUGENIO;BLANDIZZI, CORRADO;MONZANI, FABIO
2017-01-01

Abstract

It is difficult to distinguish unexplained falls (UFs) from accidental falls (AFs) or syncope in older people. This study was designed to compare patients referred to the emergency department (ED) for AFs, UFs or syncope. Data from a longitudinal study on adverse drug events diagnosed at the ED (ANCESTRAL-ED) in older people were analyzed in order to select cases of AF, syncope, or UF. A total of 724 patients (median age: 81.0 [65–105] years, 66.3% female) were consecutively admitted to the ED (403 AF, 210 syncope, and 111 UF). The number of psychotropic drugs was the only significant difference in patients with AF versus those with UF (odds ratio [OR] 1.44; 95% confidence interval 1.17–1.77). When comparing AF with syncope, female gender, musculoskeletal diseases, dementia, and systolic blood pressure >110 mmHg emerged as significantly associated with AF (OR 0.40 [0.27–0.58], 0.40 [0.24–0.68], 0.35 [0.14–0.82], and 0.31 [0.20–0.49], respectively), while valvulopathy and the number of antihypertensive drugs were significantly related to syncope (OR 2.51 [1.07–5.90] and 1.24 [1.07–1.44], respectively). Upon comparison of UF and syncope, the number of central nervous system drugs, female gender, musculoskeletal diseases, and SBP >110 mmHg were associated with UF (OR 0.65 [0.50–0.84], 0.52 [0.30–0.89], 0.40 [0.20–0.77], and 0.26 [0.13–0.55]), respectively. These results indicate specific differences, in terms of demographics, medical/pharmacological history, and vital signs, among older patients admitted to the ED for AF and syncope. UF was associated with higher use of psychotropic drugs than AF. Our findings could be helpful in supporting a proper diagnostic process when evaluating older patients after a fall.
Pasqualetti, Giuseppe; Calsolaro, Valeria; Bini, Giacomo; Dell'Agnello, Umberto; Tuccori, Marco; Marino, Alessandra; CAPOGROSSO SANSONE, Alice; Rafanelli, Martina; Santini, Massimo; Orsitto, Eugenio; Ungar, Andrea; Blandizzi, Corrado; Monzani, Fabio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/860599
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