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Hip Fracture Survivors Often Experience Another Fracture

Framingham data links older age, high functional status to risk of subsequent fractures

MONDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial number of people who fracture a hip are at increased risk of another hip fracture -- which typically affects the opposite hip and occurs a median of 4.2 years later, according to research published in the Oct. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Sarah D. Berry, M.D., of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 481 participants in the original Framingham Heart Study. They followed everyone with an initial hip fracture from April 1952 to the end of 2003 until they fractured another hip, dropped out, died, or until the study ended.

The researchers found that 14.8 percent of subjects experienced another hip fracture. The one-year mortality after the initial fracture was 15.9 percent, rising to a one-year mortality of 24.1 percent after a second fracture. The risk of second fracture rose with age, with a hazard ratio of 1.5 for each five-year increase. High functional status, compared to moderate functional status, was also associated with increased risk (hazard ratio 2.7), possibly by increasing subjects' ability to survive, recover, and fall again after the first fracture.

"Given the findings of this study, a substantial number of persons who experience a hip fracture are at risk for a second hip fracture. There is adequate time between the first and second hip fractures for clinicians to intervene in an effort to reduce the risk of second hip fracture," the authors write.

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