Mortality after hip fracture: Regional variations in New Zealand
Walker N., Norton R., Hoorn SV., Rodgers A., MacMahon S., Clark T., Gray H.
Aim. To determine the 35-day and one-year mortality rates following a hospital admission for hip fracture, among individuals aged 60 years or older in New Zealand. Methods. New Zealand Health Information Service mortality data for the years 1988 to 1992 were examined to determine the case fatality rate among individuals aged 60 years or older admitted to hospital for fractures of the neck of femur (ICD-9 N-code 820). Case fatality rates assessed at 35 days and one year after admission to hospital were examined by age, gender, year of admission, place of residence, area health board region and cause of death. Results. Between 1988 and 1992, the case fatality rate was 8% within 35 days of admission to hospital and 24% within one year of admission. Case fatality rates were found to be twice as high in men compared to women and four to five times higher in individuals aged 85 years and older, compared to people aged between 60 and 64 years. The only regional difference in hip fracture mortality was found in the Canterbury area health board region, which had a 30% higher rate of hip fracture mortality compared to all regions combined. The two main cited underlying causes of death after hip fracture were accidental falls (ICD E880-E888) and ischaemic heart disease (ICD 410-414). Conclusion. Over three-quarters of individuals aged 60 years or older who are hospitalised with a hip fracture in New Zealand survive for at least one year after admission. However, significant variations in mortality exist with age and gender. These data highlight the importance of preventive strategies for hip fracture in older people and the need to identify ways of improving post-admission care.