Introduction: Falling is among the most serious clinical problems in Parkinson's disease (PD). We used body-worn sensors (falls detector worn as a necklace) to quantify the hazard ratio of falls in PD patients in real life. Methods: We matched all 2063 elderly individuals with self-reported PD to 2063 elderly individuals without PD based on age, gender, comorbidity, and living conditions. We analyzed fall events collected at home via a wearable sensor. Fall events were collected either automatically using the wearable falls detector or were registered by a button push on the same device. We extracted fall events from a 2.5-year window, with an average follow-up of 1.1 years. All falls included were confirmed immediately by a subsequent telephone call. The outcomes evaluated were (1) incidence rate of any fall, (2) incidence rate of a new fall after enrollment (ie, hazard ratio), and (3) 1-year cumulative incidence of falling. Results: The incidence rate of any fall was higher among self-reported PD patients than controls (2.1 vs. 0.7 falls/person, respectively; P <.0001). The incidence rate of a new fall after enrollment (ie, hazard ratio) was 1.8 times higher for self-reported PD patients than controls (95% confidence interval, 1.6–2.0). Conclusion: Having PD nearly doubles the incidence of falling in real life. These findings highlight PD as a prime “falling disease.” The results also point to the feasibility of using body-worn sensors to monitor falls in daily life.

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Keywords falls incidence, home-based monitoring, Parkinson's disease, wearable sensor
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Journal Movement Disorders
Silva de Lima, A.L. (Ana Lígia), Smits, T. (Tine), Darweesh, S.K.L, Valenti, G. (Giulio), Milosevic, M. (Mladen), Pijl, M. (Marten), … Bloem, B.R. (2019). Home-based monitoring of falls using wearable sensors in Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders. doi:10.1002/mds.27830