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Risk of Death Persists After a Hip Fracture
Date:3/15/2010

Older people who suffer a break up to eight times more likely to die, study finds

MONDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Older men and women who break a hip are five to eight times more likely to die in the first three months after the fracture, a new study by Belgian researchers has found.

And, while the death rate after a hip fracture diminishes substantially during the first two years after the break, it never returns to the death rate seen in similar people who did not fracture a hip, the study authors said.

"A hip fracture is a major blow to the body," said Dr. Elton Strauss, an associate professor and chief of orthopedic trauma and adult reconstruction at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, who was not involved in the study.

Strauss said the main problem is not repairing the fracture itself but the toll it takes on older people.

"It's actually the problem with the elderly skeleton as well as the co-morbidities [other health problems] these patients have," he said. "There's also the mental shock."

For the study, a team led by Dr. Patrick Haentjens, of the Centre for Outcomes Research and the Laboratory for Experimental Surgery at the University Hospital in Brussels, examined 22 studies that included more than 578,000 women and 17 studies that included more than 154,000 men with hip fractures. All study participants were 50 or older.

The researchers found that older women who had a hip fracture had a slightly more than 50 percent greater risk of dying in the first three months after the break, and men had a nearly 80 percent increased risk of dying during that time.

The risk increased with the person's age. For 80-year-old women with hip fractures, the increased risk of dying was 8 percent at one year, rising to 22 percent at 10 years, compared with women without hip fractures.

For 80-year-old men, the increased risk of death at one year was 18 perc
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