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Post-Hip Fracture Mortality Higher in Patients Living Alone

Findings independent of age, education level, number of children, and degree of urbanization

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FRIDAY, Jan. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Hip fracture patients who live alone have higher mortality than those living with a partner, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Cecilie Dahl, Ph.D., from the University of Oslo in Norway, and colleagues assessed whether living alone was a risk factor for post-hip fracture mortality compared to living with a partner. The analysis included data from hip fracture patients from all hospitals in Norway (2002 to 2013; 12,770 men and 22,067 women aged 50 to 79 years) combined with the 2001 National Population and Housing Census data.

The researchers found that during 12.8 years of follow-up, higher mortality after hip fracture was found in both men and women living alone versus with a partner (hazard ratio for men, 1.37; hazard ratio for women, 1.23) when adjusting for age, education level, urbanization degree, and number of children. The strongest association was seen for male hip fracture patients aged younger than 60 years (long-term mortality hazard ratio, 3.29). Compared with the general population, relative survival eight years after a hip fracture was 43 percent in men and 61 percent in women living alone, while relative survival in those living with a partner was 51 and 67 percent in men and women, respectively.

"A patient's living situation is attainable information that tailored fracture liaison services may need to consider to make sure the patient stays compliant with prescribed medications and a bone-healthy diet," the authors write. "In addition, further emphasis should be put on creating supportive social communities for senior citizens. These efforts may prove to become even more important in the future, as populations grow older."

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