Risk Factors for Falls, Falls with Injury, and Falls with Fracture among Older Men with or at Risk of HIV Infection

Kristine M. Erlandson*, Long Zhang, Derek K. Ng, Keri N. Althoff, Frank J. Palella, Lawrence A. Kingsley, Lisa P. Jacobson, Joseph B. Margolick, Jordan E. Lake, Todd T. Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Falls and fall risk factors are common among people living with HIV (PLWH). We sought to identify fall risk factors among men with and without HIV.Methods:Men aged 50-75 years with (n = 279) and without HIV (n = 379) from the Bone Strength Substudy of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study were included. Multinomial logistic regression models identified risk factors associated with falling.Results:One hundred fourteen (41%) PLWH and 149 (39%) of uninfected men had ≥1 fall; 54 (20%) PLWH and 66 (17%) of uninfected men experienced ≥2 falls over 2 years. Five and 3% of PLWH and uninfected men, respectively, had a fall-related fracture (P = 0.34). In multivariate models, the odds of ≥2 falls were greater among men reporting illicit drug use, taking diabetes or depression medications, and with peripheral neuropathy; obesity was associated with a lower risk (all P < 0.05). In models restricted to PLWH, detectable plasma HIV-1 RNA, current use of efavirenz or diabetes medications, illicit drug use, and peripheral neuropathy were associated with greater odds of having ≥2 falls (P < 0.05). Current efavirenz use was associated with increased odds of an injurious fall; longer duration of antiretroviral therapy was protective (both P < 0.05). Greater physical activity was associated with lower risk of falls with fracture (P < 0.05).Conclusions:Identified risk factors for recurrent falls or fall with fracture included low physical activity, detectable HIV-1 RNA, use of efavirenz, or use of medications to treat diabetes and depression. Fall risk reduction should prioritize interventions targeting modifiable risk factors including increased physical activity, antiretroviral therapy adherence, and transition off efavirenz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E117-E126
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • HIV
  • aging
  • falls
  • fracture
  • frailty
  • functional impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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