Hip fracture link to earlier death

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Published: Wednesday 25th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Older people who suffer hip fractures are more likely to die if they are discharged from hospital inside 10 days, a study has shown.

Hip fracture is the most severe and common fracture in the elderly and is associated with an increased risk of death.

Researchers in Sweden found that for patients in 2006 who stayed in hospital for less than 10 days, each day’s reduction increased the risk of death within 30 days of discharge by 8%.

This had increased to 16% by 2012, the study published in the BMJ said.

For those who stayed more than 10 days there was no link between risk of death and shorter length of stay by day.

The study, which analysed data from all patients over 50 in Sweden who suffered hip fractures between 2006 and 2012, showed that while the population aged over this threshold increased by 16% during the seven-year period, the number of hospital beds reduced by around 8%.

It also found that the average length of stay in hospital went down from 14.2 days in 2006 to 11.6 days in 2012.

The observational study suggests that pressure to get patients out of hospital to free up beds is associated with greater risk of death once they are out of hospital.

But the report conceded that a weakness in the research was a lack of information about whether the patients went home after being discharged or received further care elsewhere.

The study, led by Peter Nordstrom, professor in geriatric medicine at Umea University in Sweden, said: “A shorter length of hospital stay after hip fracture was associated with an increased risk of death within 30 days of hospital discharge in the Swedish population.”

The report added: “Our results suggest that the continuous efforts to decrease length of stay after major surgery in many countries is associated with higher mortality after hospital discharge.”

It found that of the 116,111 patients studied, 5,863 died in hospital, 6,377 died within 30 days of discharge and 30,052 died within a year of being admitted to hospital with a hip fracture.

Published: Wednesday 25th February 2015 by The News Editor

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