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Hip Protectors Cost-Effective in Patients Over 80

For patients living at home, hip protectors are cost-effective starting at age 80 for women and age 85 for men

MONDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Hip protectors prevent fractures, are cost-effective and increase quality-adjusted life-years (QALY) in women starting at age 80 and in men starting at age 85, according to a report in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Lisa A. Honkanen, M.D., of Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, and colleagues measured the effects of hip protector use on fractures, QALY and dollars saved using the Markov model in persons aged 65 years and older who transitioned from community life to permanent nursing home residence. The model assumed no previous hip fractures and cohorts were stratified by sex, functional status and age.

The model predicted fewer fractures and longer life expectancy across cohorts, and that it saved money and improved QALY in women who started using the protector at 80 years and in men at 85 years of age. For women starting use at 75 years, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $19,000 per QALY, and in 80-year-old men it saved money but at a slight decrease in QALY. It was not associated with improved cost savings or QALY in younger groups.

"Hip protector use saved costs and QALY for older age cohorts of both sexes. Additional research on the quality-of-life effects and obstacles to wearing a hip protector is warranted," the authors conclude.

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