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Increased Fall Risk With Subclinical Peroneal Neuropathy

After adjustment for confounders, those with SCPN are 4.7-fold more likely to have fallen in past year

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FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of medical inpatients at moderate-to-high risk of falling have subclinical peroneal neuropathy (SCPN), according to a study published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Louis H. Poppler, M.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving 100 medical inpatients at an academic tertiary care hospital. The authors enrolled general medical inpatients deemed at moderate-to-high risk for falling. Patients were assessed for findings indicative of peroneal neuropathy, fall risk, and history of falling.

The researchers found that 31 of the patients had findings consistent with SCPN. Patients with SCPN were 4.7-fold more likely to report having fallen at least once in the past year, after accounting for confounding variables in a multivariate model.

"Subclinical peroneal neuropathy is common in medical inpatients and is associated with a recent history of falling," the authors write. "Preventing or identifying SCPN in hospitalized patients provides an opportunity to modify activity and therapy, potentially reducing risk."

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