J Korean Med Sci.  2023 Jan;38(2):e19. 10.3346/jkms.2023.38.e19.

Association Between Regional Levels of Particulate Matter and Recurrent Falls in Korea

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Hwasun, Korea


We investigated the extent of regional disparity of recurrent falls. In addition, we examined the association between particulate matter (PM) and recurrent falls and the association between regional disparity of recurrent falls and regional PM levels. Method: We used data from Korea Community Health Survey 2019 that included 204,395 participants from 237 municipal districts. The independent variables were the annual average PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations measured at the air quality measuring stations in each municipal district. The outcome variable was the experience of falls more than twice in the previous year. Multilevel analyses were conducted to estimate the association between regional PM10 and PM2.5 levels and recurrent falls.
The regional variation was greater in the young people than that in the older people. PM10 and PM2.5 levels were positively associated with recurrent falls after adjusting for individual and regional covariates. These associations were more evident in the older group than in the young. PM10 and PM2.5 explained 2.82% and 3.33% of the remaining regional variance in models with individual and regional confounders, respectively. These proportions were greater in the older group (PM10 and PM2.5; 4.73% and 5.27%) than those in the younger age group (PM10 and PM2.5, 0.80% and 1.39%).
PM concentration was associated with recurrent falls even after accounting for other regional variables and individual-level differences. Moreover, there were regional differences in the occurrence of falls, and the PM concentration explained a part of the gap, but the gap was explained more in the older group than in the young


Particulate Matter; Accidental Falls; Epidemiology; Air Pollutant; Public Health; Korea


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