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A prospective study of the effect of nursing home residency on mortality following hip fracture


  • I. A. Harris MBBS MMed FRACS PhD; S. Yong MBBS BSc(Med) MIntPH; L. McEvoy RN; L. Thorn RN.

Professor Ian A. Harris, University of NSW South West Sydney Clinical School, PO Box 906, Caringbah, New South Wales 2229, Australia. Email:


Background:  The strength of nursing home residence as a prognostic indicator of outcome following hip fracture has not previously been examined in Australia. The aim of the study was to examine the influence of nursing home residency on mortality after sustaining an acute hip fracture.

Methods:  A prospective study of all adults aged 65 years and over presenting to a single tertiary referral hospital for management of a proximal femoral fracture between July 2003 and September 2006. Residential status was obtained at admission. Patients were followed up to September 2007 (minimum 12 months). Relative risk values for mortality were calculated comparing nursing home residents with non-nursing home residents. Survival analysis was performed.

Results:  Relative risk of death was higher in nursing home patients compared with non-nursing home patients. The difference was greater in the immediate period (30 days) post-injury (relative risk 1.9, 95% confidence interval 1.0–3.6, P= 0.04) than after 12 months (relative risk 1.5, 95% confidence interval 1.2–1.8, P= 0.001). Survival analysis showed that 25% of patients in the nursing home group died by 96 days post-injury, compared with 435 days in the non-nursing home group.

Conclusions:  Nursing home residence confers an increased risk of death following hip fracture; this difference is greater in the immediate post-injury period. The relative risk of death decreases over time to equal previously reported comparative mortality rates between nursing home residents and community dwellers without hip fracture.