Hip fractures are common in the elderly, and patients with hip fractures frequently have comorbid illnesses. Little is known about the relationship between comorbid illness and hospital costs or length of stay following the treatment of hip fracture in the United States. We hypothesized that specific individual comorbid illnesses and multiple comorbid illnesses would be directly related to the hospitalization costs and the length of stay for older patients following hip fracture.Methods:
With use of discharge data from the 2007 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, 32,440 patients who were fifty-five years or older with an isolated, closed hip fracture were identified. Using generalized linear models, we estimated the impact of comorbidities on hospitalization costs and length of stay, controlling for patient, hospital, and procedure characteristics.Results:
Hypertension, deficiency anemias, and fluid and electrolyte disorders were the most common comorbidities. The patients had a mean of three comorbidities. Only 4.9% of patients presented without comorbidities. The average estimated cost in our reference patient was $13,805. The comorbidity with the largest increased hospitalization cost was weight loss or malnutrition, followed by pulmonary circulation disorders. Most other comorbidities significantly increased the cost of hospitalization. Compared with internal fixation of the hip fracture, hip arthroplasty increased hospitalization costs significantly.Conclusions:
Comorbidities significantly affect the cost of hospitalization and length of stay following hip fracture in older Americans, even while controlling for other variables.Level of Evidence:
Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.