Epidemiology of hip fracture in the elderly in Spain

Bone. 2008 Feb;42(2):278-85. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2007.10.001. Epub 2007 Oct 10.


Objective: To describe the incidence and epidemiological characteristics of hip fracture (HF) in patients aged 65 years or over in the various autonomous regions (AR) of Spain from the year 2000 to 2002 and to determine which factors affect in-hospital mortality.

Methods: Retrospective, observational study including all patients aged >65 years with acute hip fracture in the 19 AR of Spain from 2000 to 2002. Data were obtained from the National Record of the Minimum Basic Data Set of the Ministry of Health. We analyzed the following: incidence rates (crude and age- and gender-adjusted rates) and incidence of hospital admission by season, length of hospital stay and in-hospital mortality. We used regression analysis to identify the factors that influenced in-hospital mortality.

Results: There were 107,718 cases of HF in patients aged >65 years; of these, 74% were women, with a mean age of 79 years (SD 14). The crude incidence rate for HF was 511 cases per 100,000 >65-year-old patients per year (265 cases per 100,000 men and 688 per 100,000 women and year). Incidence adjusted for age and gender was 503 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year. Catalonia had the highest age-adjusted incidence and Galicia the lowest (623 and 317 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year, respectively). Incidence rates increased from spring (24.1%) to winter (25.8%). The mean length of hospital stay was 15 days (SD 13). Seasonal influence and length of stay varied greatly between autonomous regions. While the overall in-hospital mortality rate was 5.3%, the rate for males was double that of females (8.9% and 4.8%, respectively), and in-hospital mortality increased with comorbidity (each point on the Charlson index increased mortality by 34.5%) was higher in winter (11% more risk compared to warmer seasons) and in cold climate regions (15% more risk compared to regions with a warm climate, i.e.: Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia, Balearic Islands and Canary Islands).

Conclusions: Hip fracture mainly affects elderly women and presents great variability in incidence, seasonality, length of hospital stay and mortality between the different autonomous regions in Spain. Elderly male patients with severe comorbid conditions, who are admitted in winter and in cold climate regions are more at risk of in-hospital mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures / epidemiology*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Spain / epidemiology