Report on 1st World Congress on Falls and Postural Stability

The first World Congress on Falls and Postural Stability was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 4th to 7th December 2019 and was attended by over 400 delegates from 39 countries. Falls are common occurring at least once a year in over a third of older people and are associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and cost to society. This event was hosted by the Malaysian Society of Geriatric Medicine together with the British Geriatrics Society and brought together top researchers as well as clinicians from different professions. Key note lectures covered cognition, fractures, “fall risk increasing drugs”, polypharmacy, frailty, sarcopenia, exercise, cardiovascular cause of falls, technology, policy, and fear of falling. Symposia and workshops allowed more detailed and interactive discussion and exchange of ideas between delegates. The faculty awarded two lifetime achievement awards to two researchers in the field: Professor Rose Ann Kenny from Ireland for her pioneering work on falls related to cardiovascular conditions and Professor Stephen Lord from Australia for his extensive research in broad topics in relation to falls and gait.

Besides Professor Tahir Masud, who as the co-organiser of the congress gave several state-of-the-art lectures, Professor Nathalie van de Velde, Dr Lotta Seppala, Associated Professor Jesper Ryg and Professor Mirko Petrovic, as prominent EuGMS members, also actively participated in the programme with their well-attended presentations. 

The Malaysians were generous hosts and the opening ceremony included fantastic performances from the University of Third Age students and the gala dinner showcased different cultural songs and dances from different regions of the country. The congress was deemed to be a great success, facilitating much networking and different initiatives which will move the field forward, and we would like to thank Professor Maw Pin Tan from Kuala Lumpur who together with her colleagues put on a great event. The Second World Congress will be held in three years’ time in Perth, Australia and promises to be an equally enthralling affair.

Professor Tash Masud, President British Geriatrics Society