2007, Number 2
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ABSTRACTBackground: We undertook this study to relate unipodal stance time (UST) as a falls indicator in the elderly and to corroborate with UST exercise increments.
Methods: One hundred sixty eight elderly subjects (age ≥70 years) with two or more falls during the previous 12 months were compared with 150 similar subjects without falls. UST chronometry and quadriceps and triceps brachialis strength dynamometry were used. Equilibrium and antigravity muscle-strengthening exercise program with 20 work sessions were carried out. Results were analyzed with χ2, Student’s t-test, and Fisher tests.
Results: UST of the control group showed 28.84 ± 4.73 sec (mean ± SD). The UST sample showed 19.18 ± 4.24 sec. The test was initially impossible to carry out in 42 cases (p = 0.05). The final evaluation showed 142 cases with 30 sec of UST (p = 0.00001), isometric force increased in 70 % and 30 %, respectively (p = 0.05). At 6-month follow-up, 53 falls were reported, 29 were in patients who could not accomplish UST measurement on initial evaluation.
Conclusions: UST ‹30 sec is an indicator of falls in elderly people, and exercise programs increase UST.
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