Falls are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in older persons, and the consequences of a fall may impact an individual severely. The costs related to falls are high for individuals, their family and society at large. Although prevalence rates for falls in older populations have been established in more developed countries, comparatively little is known of the incidence and prevalence, and risk factors for falls in older populations in less developed countries. This article describes a prevalence study conducted in Cape Town. Knowledge of the incidence and prevalence of falls, and associated risk factors, and prevention and effective management of falls are relevant in the public health domain.
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