Factors associated with falling in early, treated Parkinson's disease: The NET-PD LS1 cohort

NINDS NET-PD Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background Recognizing the factors associated with falling in Parkinson's disease (PD) would improve identification of at-risk individuals. Objective To examine frequency of falling and baseline characteristics associated with falling in PD using the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Exploratory Trials in PD Long-term Study-1 (NET-PD LS-1) dataset. Methods The LS-1 database included 1741 early treated PD subjects (median 4 year follow-up). Baseline characteristics were tested for a univariate association with post-baseline falling during the trial. Significant variables were included in a multivariable logistic regression model. A separate analysis using a negative binomial model investigated baseline factors on fall rate. Results 728 subjects (42%) fell during the trial, including at baseline. A baseline history of falls was the factor most associated with post-baseline falling. Men had lower odds of post-baseline falling compared to women, but for men, the probability of a post-baseline fall increased with age such that after age 70, men and women had similar odds of falling. Other baseline factors associated with a post-baseline fall and increased fall rate included the Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS) Activities of Daily Living (ADL) score, total functional capacity (TFC), baseline ambulatory capacity score and dopamine agonist monotherapy. Conclusion Falls are common in early treated PD. The biggest risk factor for falls in PD remains a history of falling. Measures of functional ability (UPDRS ADL, TFC) and ambulatory capacity are novel clinical risk factors needing further study. A significant age by sex interaction may help to explain why age has been an inconsistent risk factor for falls in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - Jun 15 2017


  • Falls
  • NET-PD
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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