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Elderly Women Who Break a Hip at Increased Risk of Dying Within a Year
Date:9/26/2011

PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Women ages 65-69 who break a hip are five times more likely to die within a year than women of the same age who don't break a hip, according to a Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published online today in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

This paper breaks down death risk by age group. In addition to the finding for women ages 65-69, it finds that for women ages 70-79, a hip fracture doubles the risk of dying within a year.  Most women 80 and older have the same risk of dying within a year whether they fracture their hip or not, but for women 80 and older who are in excellent health, a hip fracture nearly triples the risk of dying within a year.  

"This study is a wake-up call that the first year after a hip fracture is a critical time for all elderly women, but especially for younger women, ages 65-69, who face a much higher death rate compared to their peers," said Erin S. LeBlanc, MD, MPH, lead author and investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.  "We need to do more to prevent hip fractures from occurring, and we need to study how best to care for women after fracture to prevent these deaths."

Other studies have found that women who break a hip are at higher risk for earlier death, but most of those studies concluded that the increased risk was not because of the fracture, but because of underlying health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.  This study controlled for these underlying health conditions and also matched each woman who broke her hip with four women of the same age who didn't break a hip.

"Our study suggests that it is the hip fracture, and not just poor health, that puts these women at higher risk of dying," said Teresa Hillier, MD, MS, co-author and senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Resea
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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