Hip fractures are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Twenty to 40% of persons who fracture their hips die within 6 months of the injury, and many survivors need long-term care. To assess the public health impact of hip fractures in the United States, we analyzed sample-based data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey, National Center for Health Statistics, for the United States for the period 1970-83. For these years, an estimated annual average of 197,000 persons 45 years of age or older was hospitalized for hip fractures. The age-, race-, and sex-adjusted hospitalization rates for hip fractures rose from 28.9 per 10,000 persons in 1970 to 30.9 per 10,000 in 1983 (P<.01). Hospitalization rates rose exponentially by successive 10-year age groups, with persons 85 years of age or older having the highest rate (251.4 per 10,000). For each age group, women had hospitalization rates twice those of men, and whites had hospitalization rates twice those of other races. Never-married and divorced persons had higher hospitalization rates than currently married persons. The percentage of mortality before discharge from hospital fell from 11% in 1970 to 6% in 1983, with most of the decrease occurring among persons 75 years of age or older. The age-adjusted mean length of hospital stay declined 24%, from 23.9 days in 1970 to 18.2 days in 1983. These findings should be useful in planning prevention strategies for a public health problem that costs more than $3 billion a year in direct medical costs alone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health