Falls in Korean polio survivors: Incidence, consequences, and risk factors

Ki Yeun Nam, Seung Yeol Lee, Eun Joo Yang, Keewon Kim, Se Hee Jung, Soong Nang Jang, Soo Jeong Han, Wan Ho Kim, Jae Young Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Falls and fall-related injuries are important issue among polio survivors. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of, and consequences and factors associated with falls among Korean polio survivors. A total of 317 polio survivors participated in this study. All participants completed a questionnaire including fall history, symptoms related to postpolio syndrome and other information through a telephone interview. Among them, 80 participants visited our clinic for additional physical measurements and tests. Of the 317 respondents, 68.5% reported at least one fall in the past year. Of the fallers, 42.5% experienced at least one fall during one month. Most falls occurred during ambulation (76.6%), outside (75.2%) and by slipping down (29.7%). Of fallers, 45% reported any injuries caused by falls, and 23.3% reported fractures specifically. Female sex, old age, low bone mineral density, the presence of symptoms related to post-polio syndrome (PPS), poor balance confidence, short physical performance battery and weak muscle strength of knee extensor were not significantly associated with falls. Only leg-length discrepancy using spine-malleolar distance (SMD) was a significant factor associated with falls among Korean polio survivors. Our findings suggest that malalignment between the paralytic and non-paralytic limb length should be addressed in polio survivors for preventing falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-309
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©2016 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.


  • Accidental falls
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Postpoliomyelitis syndrome
  • Risk factors
  • Survivors


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