Predicting outcomes after a hip fracture

Created date

August 22nd, 2019
Two medical professionals examine an xray of a hip bone.

Having a hip fracture is never good news.  Research shows that up to half of adults have trouble with daily functioning and mobility for months to years after fracturing a hip. About 20% have to live in long-term care facilities. The worst news, however, is about 18% to 33% of older adults who have a hip fracture die within one year.

Previous research results indicate that being disabled prior to the event is the strongest predictor for whether someone will experience a decline after a hip fracture. A group of researchers recognized a gap in knowledge about other possible factors, and set out to determine more information about how older adults in the U.S. fare after a hip fracture. Their findings were recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers examined data from 368 seniors who had surgery to repair hip fractures in 2015 at Yale New Haven Hospital, including 184 patients who were independently functioning before the fracture occurred.

Other predictors 

The results showed that several factors were associated with poor outcomes including age, dementia, number of medications, pre-hospitalization opioid use, and in-hospital delirium. These factors also applied to seniors who were independent before having a hip fracture. 

The researchers say that these results highlight the need for providers to carefully assess seniors for such factors when they are hospitalized for a hip fracture, and that more studies are needed in this area.