Objectives: To identify determinants of mortality and institutionalization after hip fracture and to identify those older hip fracture patients at high risk of death or institutionalization after hip fracture.
Design: Population-based prospective inception cohort study of hip fracture patients; patients were assessed in the hospital and at 3 months following the hip fracture.
Setting: Edmonton area hip fracture patients admitted to one of two Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, acute care centers between July 10, 1996, and August 31, 1997.
Participants: Patients were residents of the Edmonton area and over the age of 64. Those who had previously fractured the same hip within the past 5 years or had some pathological condition underlying the hip fracture were excluded. Of 610 eligible patients, 558 contributed some baseline information and were included in the mortality analysis; the institutionalization analysis was restricted to the 338 patients who lived in the community before fracture, survived the 3-month period postfracture, and had completed a 3-month follow-up interview.
Measurements: The baseline interview was done in the hospital to assess mental status, prefracture physical function, prefracture health perception, and prefracture social support. The 3-month follow-up interview was done by phone to assess physical function, health perception, and social support 3 months postfracture. Demographic and comorbidity information was collected from medical records.
Results: Low mental status in hospital was found to increase the chances of mortality and institutionalization, and male gender was found to increase mortality risk fourfold. Each additional 10 years of age increased the risk of institutionalization approximately 2.5 times. Patients with lower postfracture physical function had at least five times the risk of institutionalization compared to patients with high postfracture physical function.
Conclusions: Cognitive impairment, older age, and gender were associated with increased risk of poor outcome following hip fracture. The socioeconomic variables--social support and health perception--did not contribute significant additional information in explaining mortality or institutionalization risk. While demographic factors cannot be modified, physical function 3 months postfracture may be amenable to intervention and may reduce the risk of institutionalization. Intervening to increase postfracture physical function may be particularly beneficial to older patients, or to those who are cognitively impaired.