Background: The majority of hip fractures are produced because of a fall. We examined the characteristics associated with falls causing hip fracture in elderly patients.
Material and methods: Characteristics of falls owing to hip fracture were analyzed in 410 consecutive patients admitted in 6 hospitals during the 2004. We evaluated the location, time and the possible cause of fall: intrinsic risk factor, extrinsic or combined.
Results: We evaluated 316 women (77%) and 94 men, mean age 81.9 years. Previous to the hip fracture, the mean BI was 77.5. The mean value of falls during the last year was 1.9. Previously to the fall that caused hip fracture, we found that 24% of the patients had fallen repeatedly (more than two falls). Usually falls were at home (68%) and during daytime (80%). In 45% of patients an intrinsic risk factor was considered the most likely cause, in 33% an extrinsic risk factor and in 22% a combination.
Conclusions: The majority of falls owing to hip fracture in elderly people happen in daytime, at home and due to intrinsic risk factors. Efforts to identify elderly people at risk of fall should be stressed in order to establish preventive measures.