Mortality Rates of Patients with Proximal Femoral Fracture in a Worldwide Pandemic: Preliminary Results of the Spanish HIP-COVID Observational Study

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2020 Jul 1;102(13):e69. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.20.00686.


Background: The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), in December 2019 in Wuhan, People's Republic of China, has developed into an unprecedented pandemic with enormous pressure on health-care providers around the world. A higher mortality rate has been described in older infected individuals. Patients with hip fracture are a particularly vulnerable population during this pandemic because older age is associated with a higher mortality rate. Our aim was to describe the early mortality rate and demographic variables in a hip fracture sample population in Spain during the coronavirus pandemic.

Methods: This is a multicenter, observational, retrospective, descriptive study. We collected data from 13 major hospitals in Spain from the beginning of the national state of alarm (declared on March 14, 2020, by the Spanish government) until the end of our study period on April 4, 2020. All patients who were ≥65 years of age, presented to the Emergency Department of the participating hospitals during this period with a diagnosis of proximal femoral fracture, and had a minimum follow-up of 10 days were included in the cohort. In addition to mortality, demographic and other potential prognostic variables were also collected.

Results: In this study, 136 patients with a hip fracture were included. Of these patients, 124 underwent a surgical procedure and 12 were managed nonoperatively. The total mortality rate was 9.6%. Sixty-two patients were tested for COVID-19, with 23 patients being positive. The mortality rate for these 23 patients was 30.4% (7 of 23 patients) at a mean follow-up of 14 days. The mortality rate was 10.3% (4 of 39) for patients who had been tested and had a negative result and 2.7% (2 of 74) for patients who had not been tested. Of the 12 patients who were managed nonoperatively, 8 (67%) died, whereas, of the 124 patients who were surgically treated, 5 (4%) died. Results differed among centers.

Conclusions: There is a higher mortality rate in patients with a hip fracture and an associated positive test for COVID-19.

Level of evidence: Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Femoral Fractures / mortality*
  • Hip Fractures / mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Spain / epidemiology