Low serum sodium tied to geriatric fall risk

  • Boyer S & al.
  • BMC Geriatr
  • 15.10.2019

  • von Craig Hicks
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Mild hyponatremia is significantly associated with falls in older patients.

Why this matters

  • Determining sodium levels could be an important component of fall-prevention strategies for the elderly.

Study design

  • Researchers studied patients aged ≥75 years admitted to a large academic health center for nonvital emergency treatment (N=696; mean age, 86.1±5.6 years; women, 63.1%), exploring associations between history of falls and sociodemographic factors, comorbidities, medications, and serum sodium levels.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Overall fall prevalence was 27.9% (95% CI, 24.6%-31.2%).
  • Overall hyponatremia (serum sodium,
  • Mild hyponatremia (serum sodium, 130-135 mEq/L) prevalence was 13.2% (95% CI, 10.1%-16.3%) in patients without falls and 26.1% (95% CI, 19.8%-32.4%) in patients admitted for falls.
  • Mild hyponatremia was significantly associated with falls (aOR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.84-4.96; P<.001>

Limitations

  • The study was cross-sectional and did not demonstrate causality.
  • Serum sodium concentrations were obtained during a single blood test and do not show whether hyponatremia was acute or chronic.