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Preventive Medicine Reports




Elsevier BV

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Social isolation is closely linked to depression and falls in late life and are common among seniors. Although the literature has highlighted age-related variations in these three geriatric conditions, evidence on heterogeneities across older adult age categories is lacking. To address this gap, we present cross-sectional analyses using indicators of social isolation, depression, and falls of older adults constructed from the most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data. An age-based understanding is critical to improve health interventions since health changes occur at a faster rate among seniors than in any other population subgroup. We included all adults 60 years and older (n = 113,233) in the 2018 BRFSS landline dataset and used the status of living alone, depressive disorder diagnosis, and fall incidences reported by these seniors to respectively create the social isolation, depression, and fall indicators. We conducted multivariable logistic regressions to compare findings on these indicators across the three age categories of 60–69, 70–79, and 80 and above after adjusting for a common set of covariates. Results indicate that the likelihood of seniors living alone and reporting depression is the highest among those 80 years and above. Conversely, the odds of depressed seniors reporting falls is the greatest among the 60–69 year olds. Accordingly, we highlight key implications for targeted health promotion and care delivery to seniors.