Background: As a consequence of changes in population demographics, the extremely elderly represent one of the fastest growing groups in Western society. Previous studies have associated advanced age with increased mortality after hip fracture; however, this finding has not been consistent.
Methods: The Scottish Hip Fracture Audit is a prospective, national, multicenter study that collects data on patients over the age of fifty years who are admitted to the hospital with a hip fracture. For the present study, we used data collected from twenty-two acute-care orthopaedic units between January 1998 and December 2005. The extremely elderly cohort consisted of 919 individuals with an age of ninety-five years or more. Case-mix variables and outcomes were compared with those for a modal control group of 15,461 individuals who were seventy-five to eighty-nine years of age. Outcome measures included thirty and 120-day mortality rates, the length of the hospital stay, the place of residence, and mobility. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to compare outcomes between groups while controlling for significant case-mix variables.
Results: The extremely elderly presented with poorer indicators of health status as demonstrated by higher American Society of Anesthesiologists scores. In addition, this group was less likely to be independently mobile and more likely to be in institutional care at the time of the fracture (p < 0.001). Mortality at thirty and 120 days was higher in the extremely elderly even after adjusting for case-mix variables. The extremely elderly also were less likely to return home or to return to previous levels of mobility.
Conclusions: Although the extremely elderly exhibited a higher prevalence of prefracture indicators of poor outcome, statistical control for these case-mix variables showed further age-related deterioration in survival and outcomes after surgery for the treatment of a hip fracture.
Level of Evidence: Prognostic Level I. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.