Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 23, Issue 5–6, pp 372–377 | Cite as

Association between disease-related factors and balance and falls among the elderly with COPD: a cross-sectional study

  • Sevgi Ozalevli
  • Duygu Ilgin
  • Selnur Narin
  • Atilla Akkoclu
Original Article


Background and aims: To investigate the relationship between disease-related factors and balance, and a history of falls in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods: Thirty-six patients with COPD and twenty healthy individuals were studied. Pulmonary function (pulmonary function test), hypoxemia (analysis of arterial blood gases), history of falls and tripping (number of falls and tripping in the past year), balance (Berg’s Balance Scale-BBS), quadriceps femoris muscle strength (manual muscle test), and exercise capacity (6-minute walking test-6MWT) were assessed. Results: BBS scores were significantly different between groups (p=0.001). BBS scores, frequency of falls and tripping were correlated in COPD patients (p≤0.01). BBS score and frequency of falls were correlated with dyspnea and peripheral oxygen saturation measured after the 6MWT, partial arterial oxygen pressure, and arterial oxygen saturation values in COPD patients (p<0.05). Conclusions: According to our results, hypoxemia, dyspnea and fatigue are disease- related factors, which are related with balance impairment and falls in COPD patients. For this reason, we suggest that assessment of and training to improve balance impairment among the elderly with COPD should be a component of pulmonary rehabilitation programs in clinical practice.

Key words

Balance COPD dyspnea elderly fall hypoxemia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sevgi Ozalevli
    • 1
  • Duygu Ilgin
    • 1
  • Selnur Narin
    • 1
  • Atilla Akkoclu
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Physical TherapyDokuz Eylul UniversityInciralti, IzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Chest DiseasesDokuz Eylul UniversityIzmirTurkey

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