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Increase in Disability Prevalence Before Hip Fracture.

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To establish the prevalence and correlates of disability during the 2 years before hip fracture.


Data from participants who experienced hip fracture in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) with hip fracture identified using linked Medicare claims. Each participant was interviewed at varying time points in the 2 years before hip fracture. Disability was defined as self-report of the need for assistance in any activity of daily living (walking across the room, eating, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, transferring). Based on the timing between interview and hip fracture, prevalence of disability was calculated in the cohort as a whole over the 2 years before hip fracture and in subgroups defined according to demographic and clinical characteristics.


The HRS is a nationally representative longitudinal study (1992-2010).


HRS participants aged ≥65 with hip fracture (mean age at fracture 84, 77% female).


The adjusted prevalence of disability was 20% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 14-25%) 2 years before hip fracture, with little change until approximately 10 months before fracture, when it started to rise, reaching 44% (95% CI = 33-55%) in the month before hip fracture. The prevalence of disability was highest in the last month before fracture for persons aged 85 and older (53%) and for those with dementia (60%).


Care models for hip fracture need to consider not only the acute medical and surgical needs, but also the high level of need for supportive care and caregiver assistance that chronically disabled individuals require.

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