Sex differences in mortality of older adults with falls after emergency department consultation: FALL‐ER registry



To investigate if sex is a risk factor for mortality in patients consulting at the emergency department (ED) for an unintentional fall.


This was a secondary analysis of the FALL-ER registry, a cohort of patients ≥65 years with an unintentional fall presenting to one of 5 Spanish EDs during 52 predefined days (one per week during one year). We collected 18 independent patient baseline and fall-related variables. Patients were followed for 6 months and all-cause mortality recorded. The association between biological sex and mortality was expressed as unadjusted and adjusted hazard ratios (HR) with the 95% confidence interval (95% CI), and subgroup analyses were performed by assessing the interaction of sex with all baseline and fall-related mortality risk variables.


Of 1315 enrolled patients (median age 81 years), 411 were men (31%) and 904 women (69%). The 6-month mortality was higher in men (12.4% vs. 5.2%, HR = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.65–3.71), although age was similar between sexes. Men had more comorbidity, previous hospitalizations, loss of consciousness, and an intrinsic cause for falling. Women more frequently lived alone, with self-reported depression, and the fall results in a fracture and immobilization. Nonetheless, after adjustment for age and these eight divergent variables, older men aged 65 and over still showed a significantly higher mortality (HR = 2.19, 95% CI = 1.39–3.45), with the highest risk observed during the first month after ED presentation (HR = 4.18, 95% CI = 1.31–13.3). We found no interaction between sex and any patient-related or fall-related variables with respect to mortality (p > 0.05 in all comparisons).


Male sex is a risk factor for death following ED presentation for a fall in the older population adults aged 65 and over. The causes for this risk should be investigated in future studies.

from Wiley: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: Table of Contents