Yu Jiang, Qinghua Xia, Jie Wang, Peng Zhou, Shuo Jiang, Vinod K. Diwan, and Biao Xu

Background: Falls are leading cause of injury among older people, especially for those living in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Very few studies have assessed the effect of sleep quality and hypnotics use on falls, especially in Chinese LTCFs. The study aimed to examine the association between sleep quality, hypnotics use, and falls in institutionalized older people.

Results: Among the 605 participants (70.41% women, mean age 84.33 ± 6.90 years), the one-year incidence of falls and injurious falls was 21.82% and 15.21%, respectively. Insomnia (19.83%) and hypnotics use (14.21%) were prevalent. After adjusting for potential confounders, we found that insomnia was significantly associated with an increased risk of falls (adjusted risk ratio (RR): 1.787, 95% CI, 1.106–2.877) and the use of benzodiazepines significantly increased the risk of injurious falls (RR: 3.128, 95% CI, 1.541–6.350).

Conclusion: In elderly LTCF residents, both insomnia and benzodiazepine use are associated with an increased risk of falls and injuries. Adopting non-pharmacological approaches to improve sleep quality, taking safer hypnotics, or strengthening supervision on benzodiazepine users may be useful in fall prevention.

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