New research determines that excessive daytime sleepiness may be a significant factor in falls experienced by older adults, according to the Neurology Advisor.

Problems with sleep are common in older adults, with about 15% experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness due to a change in quality and quantity of nocturnal sleep or other underlying conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Problems associated with these symptoms may also be linked to comorbid psychiatric conditions and lifestyle factors, such as a lack of physical activity.

The study assessed history of falls, fall risk, and sleepiness in 367 women aged 60 to 93 years and 451 men aged 60 to 92 years who were part of the Geelong Osteoporosis Study between 2001 and 2008. Prior falls were self-reported, and the Elderly Fall Screening Test (EFST) was used to predict fall risk scores in men. Sleepiness was assessed using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), with scores of ?10 indicating excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).

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