The Rheumatoid Arthritis and Falls (RAF) study: a prospective study of fall risk factors in adults with rheumatoid arthritis

Emma Stanmore, Jacqueline Oldham, Dawn A Skelton, Terence O'Neill, Mark Pilling, A John Campbell, Chris Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rheumatoid arthritis is linked to an increased risk of falls resulting in osteoporotic fractures, which may involve lower limb joints, leading to impaired mobility, impaired balance, and postural instability. This study aimed to investigate the association between potential risk factors and falls in community dwelling adults with rheumatoid arthritis.
Adults with rheumatoid arthritis were recruited from four outpatient clinics in the northwest of England and followed for 1 year after clinical assessment, using monthly falls calendars and telephone calls. Outcome measures included fall occurrence, reason for fall, type and severity of injuries, fractures, fall location, lie-times, use of health services, and functional ability. Risk factors for falls included lower limb muscle strength, postural stability, number of swollen and tender joints, functional status, history of falling, fear of falling, pain, fatigue, and medication. Data on demographics, vision, co-morbidities, history of surgery, fractures, and joint replacements were also recorded.
559 adults with rheumatoid arthritis (386 women, 173 men, aged 18—88 years) had baseline measurements taken. 535 (96%) participants completed 1-year follow-up. Univariate logistic regression showed that falls risk was independent of age and gender. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that a history of multiple falls in the previous 12 months was the most significant predictive risk factor (odds ratio 5·3 [95% CI 2·3—12·3], p=0
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S103
JournalThe Lancet
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2013
EventRoyal College Of Physician's Annual meeting 2013 - London
Duration: 1 Jan 1824 → …


  • Rheumatoid arthritis, falls, risk factors, prospective, falling


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