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Fall incidence and fall risk factors in people with rheumatoid arthritis
  1. E Smulders1,
  2. C Schreven1,
  3. V Weerdesteyn1,2,
  4. F H J van den Hoogen3,
  5. R Laan3,4,
  6. W Van Lankveld1,3
  1. 1
    Research, Development and Education, Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  2. 2
    Department of Rehabilitation, Radboud University, Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  3. 3
    Department of Rheumatology, Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  4. 4
    Department of Rheumatology, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr W van Lankveld, Research, Development and Education, Sint Maartenskliniek, PO Box 9011, 6500 GM Nijmegen, The Netherlands; w.vanlankveld{at}maartenskliniek.nl

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Falls in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are an underestimated problem. Almost all patients with RA develop lower extremity problems, which may increase their risk of falling because of impaired levels of physical activity, mobility and postural stability as well as diminished strength and proprioception.1 2 Only three studies have reported fall frequency in patients with RA. The annual proportion of fallers in patients with RA (mean age 59.2) ranges from 33% to 35%.1 2 3 The fall incidence rate of 0.62 falls/person-year1 is well above the fall incidence rate reported in healthy elderly people (0.45).4 5 However, all three studies used retrospective self-reports to measure fall …

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