A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses of the Association Between Anti-Hypertensive Classes and the Risk of Falls Among Older Adults.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Falls in individuals aged ≥ 60 years may result in injury, hospitalisation or death. The role of anti-hypertensive medications in falls among older adults is unclear. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the association of six anti-hypertensive medication classes, namely α-blockers (AB), angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB), β-blockers (BB), calcium channel blockers (CCB) and diuretics, with the risk of falls, injurious falls or recurrent falls in individuals aged ≥ 60 years compared with non-users. METHODS: We performed systematic searches in PubMed, EMBASE and CINAHL and included cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies that investigated the associations between the use of anti-hypertensive medication classes and the risk of falls, injurious falls or recurrent falls in older adults (≥ 60 years) reported in English. We assessed study quality using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were pooled using random effects model. We performed meta-analyses for each anti-hypertensive medication class and each fall outcome. We also performed sensitivity analyses by pooling studies of high quality and subgroup analyses among studies with an average age of ≥ 80 years. RESULTS: Seventy-eight articles (where 74, 34, 27, 18, 13 and 11 of them examined diuretics, BB, CCB, ACEi, AB and ARB, respectively) met our inclusion and exclusion criteria; we pooled estimates from 60 articles. ACEi [OR 0.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81-0.89], BB (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.76-0.93) and CCB (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.74-0.90) use were associated with a lower risk of injurious falls than in non-users. Results in sensitivity and subgroup analyses were largely consistent. CONCLUSION: The use of ACEi, BB or CCB among older adults may be associated with a lower risk of injurious falls than non-use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ang, HT; Lim, KK; Kwan, YH; Tan, PS; Yap, KZ; Banu, Z; Tan, CS; Fong, W; Thumboo, J; Ostbye, T; Low, LL

Published Date

  • July 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 625 - 635

PubMed ID

  • 29936694

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29936694

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1179-1969

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s40266-018-0561-3


  • eng

Conference Location

  • New Zealand