The associations between falls, fall injuries, and labor market outcomes among U.S. workers 65 years and older

Publication type
Journal article
Scott KA, Fisher GG, Baron AE, Tompa E, Stallones L, DiGuiseppi C
Date published
2018 Oct 12
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Open Access?

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine whether falls are associated with the subsequent ability to work among workers aged 65 years and older. METHODS: This longitudinal cohort study followed older workers enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study. Outcomes included time to health-related work limitation and to labor force exit. RESULTS: After adjustment, multiple falls with or without a medically treated injury were associated with time to limitation [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.77, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.30 to 2.40; HR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.26 to 1.73, respectively]. Adjustment mitigated a crude relationship between falls and time to exit. Significant interactions suggest that the relationship between falls and labor force exit depends on age, race, and job demands. CONCLUSION: Falls, both noninjurious and injurious, are associated with subsequent health-related work limitation among workers aged 65 years and older. Fall prevention activities would benefit workers who want or need to keep working past age 65