What's Snow Got to Do With It? Most Elderly Hip Fractures Occur in Warm Months and Indoors
Targeted News Service (Press Releases)
Think the shorter winter days, ice and snow put your older loved one at greater risk for a fall and broken hip? Think again. A preliminary study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY(R) 2017 annual meeting shows that the majority of falls occur during warm months, and a greater number of the falls happen indoors rather than out.
"Falls are one of the most common health concerns facing the elderly today," said
In the retrospective observational study, 544 patients treated at
The study found more than 55 percent of hip fractures occurred during warm months, with the highest proportion of fractures occurring in May (10.5 percent), September (10.3 percent) and October (9.7 percent). And while the fractures were spread fairly evenly throughout the year, the authors found the majority (76.3 percent) of hip fractures occurred indoors, with only 23.6 percent happening outside. Of the outdoor fractures, more than 60 percent of them happened during warm months. For fractures that occurred indoors, more than 56 percent happened during warm months.
The most common reason for both indoor and outdoor hip fracture was tripping over an obstacle (43.3 percent for indoor and 57.1 percent for outdoor). Inside homes, the most common obstacle appeared to be throw rugs. For indoor fractures, the second leading cause was falling out of bed. For outdoor fractures, the second and third leading causes were being struck by or falling from a vehicle or falling on or down stairs.
"It is counterintuitive that the risk for hip fracture would be higher in warm months, as ice and snow would appear to be significant fall risks," said