Association of nutritional components with falls in oldest-old men: The Helsinki Businessmen Study (HBS)

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Introduction: Falls are associated with increased morbidity and mortality in older people. We examined how nutritional factors are associated with self-reported falls in the oldest-old community-dwelling men. Methods: Participants of the longitudinal and socioeconomically homogenous Helsinki Businessmen Study are men born in 1919-1934. A cross-sectional analysis from a random sample of 122 home-living oldest-old men who underwent medical examinations in 2017-2018 is reported here. Food and nutrient intakes were retrieved from 3-day food diaries, and the number of falls during past year was requested in the screening questionnaire. Nutritional status was assessed using Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form (MNA-SF) and waist circumference was measured. Body composition was assessed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-scans, physical performance with short physical performance battery (SPPB), sarcopenia status using European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People's 2 (EWGSOP2) criteria, and frailty with phenotypic criteria. Results: Mean age of participants was 87 years (range 83-99 years) and 30% reported at least one fall during past year. Falls were associated with higher waist circumference (p = .031), frailty (p < .001) and sarcopenia (p = .002), and inversely associated with SPPB total score (p = .002). Of nutritional factors, intakes of fish (p = .016), fish protein (p = .039), berry (p = .027) and vitamin D (p = .041), and snacking more protein between breakfast and lunch (p = .017) were inversely associated with falls. Red meat intake was associated with higher frequency of falls (p = .044). Conclusion: Higher waist circumference, but not body mass index, was associated with increased frequency of falls. Healthy dietary choices appeared protective from falls in these oldest-old men of similar socioeconomic status.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111105
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
  • Falls
  • Waist Circumference
  • Fish intake
  • Berry intake
  • Snacking

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