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Direct health-care costs attributed to hip fractures among seniors: a matched cohort study


Introduction — Osteoporosis is a major public health concern that results in substantial fracture-related morbidity and mortality. It is well established that hip fractures are the most devastating consequence of osteoporosis, yet the health-care costs attributed to hip fractures in Canada have not been thoroughly evaluated.

Methods — The researchers determined the 1- and 2-year direct attributable costs and cost drivers associated with hip fractures among seniors in comparison to a matched non-hip fracture cohort using health-care administrative data from Ontario (2004–2008). Entry into long-term care and deaths attributable to hip fracture were also determined.

Results Using a matched cohort design, the researchers successfully matched 22,418 female (mean age = 83.3 years) and 7,611 male (mean age = 81.3 years) hip fracture patients. The mean attributable cost in the first year after fracture was $36,929 (95% CI $36,380–$37,466) among women and $39,479 (95% CI $38,311–$40,677) among men. These estimates translate into an annual $282 million in direct attributable health-care costs in Ontario and $1.1 billion in Canada. Primary cost drivers were acute and post-acute institutional care. Approximately 24% of women and 19% of men living in the community at the time of fracture entered a long-term care facility, and 22% of women and 33% of men died within the first year following hip fracture. Attributable costs remained elevated into the second year ($9,017 among women, $10,347 among men) for patients who survived the first year.

Conclusions — The researchers identified significant health-care costs, entry into long-term care, and mortality attributed to hip fractures. Results may inform health economic analyses and policy decision-making in Canada.



Nikitovic M, Wodchis WP, Krahn MD, Cadarette SM. Osteoporos Int. 2013; 24(2):659-69. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

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