Risk-Adjusted Mortality Rates of Elderly Veterans with Hip Fractures

Elizabeth Bass*, Dustin D. French, Douglas D. Bradham, Laurence Z. Rubenstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


Purpose: The goal of this research was to estimate 12-month survival rates for a large sample of elderly veterans after hip fracture with a risk-adjusted model and to compare the results of men to those of women. Methods: The study design was a retrospective, secondary data analysis of national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Medicare beneficiaries. The study population was 43,165 veterans with hip fracture first admitted to a Medicare-eligible facility during our specified enrollment period of 1999-2002. Measurement was a Cox proportional hazard model or survival analysis of hip fracture patients with an outcome of death over a 1 year period after discharge controlled by age, gender, and selected Elixhauser comorbidities. Results: The unadjusted, 1 year mortality rates (30 days = 9.7%, 90 days = 17.5%, 180 days = 24%, 365 days = 32.2%) were slightly higher than the adjusted rates (30 days = 8.9%, 90 days = 15.6%, 180 days = 21.8%, 1 year = 29.9%). The mortality odds for women 12 months after hip fracture were 18%, compared with 32% for men. The comorbidity adjustment suggested that the presence of metastatic cancer increased the risk of death by almost 4 times compared with those patients without this diagnosis. Other particularly high-risk conditions included congestive heart failure, renal failure, liver disease, lymphoma, and weight loss, each of which increased the 1 year mortality risk by approximately two-fold. Conclusions: One in 3 elderly male veterans who sustain a hip fracture dies within 1 year. Our work represents the first large study of hip fractures with a predominantly male sample and confirms that men have a higher mortality risk than women, as reported by previous researchers who used smaller samples that were mostly female. Fracture patients with metastatic cancer, renal failure, lymphoma, weight loss, and liver disease have higher mortality risks. The adverse outcomes associated with hip fracture argue for clinical intervention strategies, such as gait and balance testing, and osteoporosis diagnosis that may prevent fractures in both genders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-519
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007


  • Hip Fractures
  • Mortality
  • Risk Adjusted
  • Survival Analysis
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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