HealthDay News — Older patients with a broken hip are more likely to die after the fracture if they are discharged from the hospital early, according to a study published in The BMJ.
The researchers analyzed data from 116,111 people aged 50 and older in Sweden who were admitted to the hospital with a broken hip between 2006 and 2012.
The patients’ average age was 82.2 years. The average hospital stay for a broken hip in Sweden fell from 14.2 days in 2006 to 11.6 days in 2012. Five percent of the patients died during their hospital stay, 5.5% died within 30 days after leaving the hospital, and 25.9% died within one year.
Age was the strongest predictor of dying within one year of hospital admission, the researchers said. Study patients with a broken hip who were in the hospital for five days or less were twice as likely to die as those who stayed 15 days or more. Groups of patients at higher risk of death in the current study included men and those with pre-existing lung, kidney, and heart disease.
In a related commentary, University of Toronto experts pointed out that “health care systems around the world are constantly urged to do more with less.” But, they stressed, early discharge from the hospital needs to be considered on a patient-by-patient basis.