The deadly nature of hip fractures

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Hip fracture is a major public health problem and is associated with high morbidity and mortality, in addition to high costs to the healthcare system. Now findings from a study published in Archives of Osteoporosis, have shed new light on the 12-month mortality of older persons presenting to hospital with hip fracture.

Its authors examined data on 9,748 individuals aged 65 years and older who were hospitalised with a primary diagnosis of hip fracture in 2009 and who were matched 1:1 on age, sex and postcode of residence, with a cohort of non-injured individuals selected from the electoral roll.

Individuals with hip fracture were over 3.5 times more likely to die within 12 months compared to their non-injured counterparts. Hip fracture was likely to be a contributory factor in 72 per cent of deaths within 12 months after the index hospital admission. Excess mortality risk at 12 months was higher in males than in females and in the 65-74-year age group.

“Our findings suggest that, with the hip fracture trauma itself the main predictor of excess mortality, efforts may best be directed at primary and secondary prevention of the fracture itself,” said co-author, Dr Reidar P. Lystad.