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Activities and risk factors associated with fall-related injuries among US Army soldiers

Abstract

Introduction Falls/near falls are the second leading cause of hospitalisation and outpatient visits among US Army soldiers. While numerous studies have evaluated fall-related or near fall-related injuries among elderly adults, few have evaluated this association among young adults. The objective of this study is to describe the characteristics and risk factors associated with fall-related or near fall-related injuries among male US Army soldiers.

Methods This is a cross-sectional study of male US Army Airborne Division soldiers (n=5187). Electronic surveys captured demographic, lifestyle, physical training (PT), fitness and injury data during spring/summer of 2016. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify independent risk factors of fall-related or near fall-related injuries, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results Primary findings indicated that activities and risk factors associated with fall-related or near fall-related injuries among soldiers included younger age (≤35 years), holding a job that required minimal lifting activities, slower 2-mile run times and not running during personal PT.

Conclusions The findings from this study suggest that male US Army soldiers and other physically active men may benefit from (1) obtaining and/or maintaining higher aerobic endurance and muscular strength, and (2) training focused on preventing fall-related injuries during PT, road marching and sports/recreational activities. Moreover, prevention strategies and education should further target younger soldiers (≤35 years old), as younger age is not modifiable.

  • epidemiology
  • public health
  • statistics & research methods
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