Association of low blood pressure and falls: An analysis of data from the Leiden 85-plus Study.

Röthlisberger, David; Jungo, Katharina Tabea; Bütikofer, Lukas; Poortvliet, Rosalinde K E; Gussekloo, Jacobijn; Streit, Sven (2023). Association of low blood pressure and falls: An analysis of data from the Leiden 85-plus Study. PLoS ONE, 18(12), e0295976. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0295976

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Falls and consequent injuries are prevalent in older adults. In this group, half of injury-related hospitalizations are associated with falls and the rate of falls increases with age. The evidence on the role of blood pressure and the use of antihypertensive treatment on the risk of falls remains unclear in oldest-old adults (≥85 years).


To examine the association between systolic blood pressure (SBP) and incident falls with medical consequences in oldest-old adults and to analyse whether this association is modified by the use of antihypertensive treatments or the presence of cardiovascular disease.


We analysed data from the Leiden 85-plus Study, a prospective, population-based cohort study with adults aged ≥85 years and a 5-year follow-up. Falls with medical consequences were reported by the treating physician of participants. We assessed the association between time-updated systolic blood pressure and the risk of falling over a follow-up period of five years using generalized linear mixed effects models with a binomial distribution and a logit link function. Subgroup analyses were performed to examine the role of antihypertensive treatment and the difference between participant with and without cardiovascular disease.


We analysed data from 544 oldest-old adults, 242 (44.4%) of which used antihypertensives. In 81 individuals (15%) ≥1 fall(s) were reported during the follow-up period. The odds for a fall decreased by a factor of 0.86 (95% CI 0.80 to 0.93) for each increase in blood pressure by 10 mmHg. This effect was specific to blood pressure values above 130mmHg. We did not find any evidence that the effect would be modified by antihypertensive treatment, but that there was a tendency that it would be weaker in participants with cardiovascular disease (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.90 per 10mmHg) compared to those without cardiovascular disease (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.05 per 10mmHg).


Our results point towards a possible benefit of higher blood pressure in the oldest-old with respect to falls independent of the use of antihypertensive treatments.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Department of Clinical Research (DCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Jungo, Katharina Tabea, Bütikofer, Lukas (B), Streit, Sven


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
500 Science > 510 Mathematics




Public Library of Science


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation ; [24] Gottfried und Julia Bangerter- Rhyner Stiftung




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

21 Dec 2023 09:08

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2024 14:15

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Röthlisberger and Jungo contributed equally to this work.




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