Incidence of Lower-Extremity Fractures in US Nursing Homes

TitleIncidence of Lower-Extremity Fractures in US Nursing Homes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSine K, Lee Y, Zullo AR, Daiello LA, Zhang T, Berry SD
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
ISBN Number0002-8614
Accession NumberWOS:000471133600025

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES Limited studies suggest lower-extremity (LE) fractures are morbid events for nursing home (NH) residents. Our objective was to conduct a nationwide study comparing the incidence and resident characteristics associated with hip (proximal femur) vs nonhip LE (femoral shaft and tibia-fibula) fractures in the NH. DESIGN Retrospective cohort study. SETTING US NHs. PARTICIPANTS We included all long-stay residents, aged 65 years or older, enrolled in Medicare from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2009 (N = 1 257 279). Residents were followed from long-stay qualification until the first event of LE fracture, death, or end of follow-up (2 years). MEASUREMENTS Fractures were classified using Medicare diagnostic and procedural codes. Function, cognition, and medical status were obtained from the Minimum Data Set prior to long-stay qualification. Incidence rates (IRs) were calculated as the total number of fractures divided by person-years. RESULTS During 42 800 person-years of follow-up, 52 177 residents had an LE fracture (43 695 hip, 6001 femoral shaft, 2481 tibia-fibula). The unadjusted IRs of LE fractures were 1.32/1000 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.27-1.38) for tibia-fibula, 3.20/1000 person-years (95% CI = 3.12-3.29) for femoral shaft, and 23.32/1000 person-years (95% CI = 23.11-23.54) for hip. As compared with hip fracture residents, non-hip LE fracture residents were more likely to be immobile (58.1% vs 18.4%), to be dependent in all activities of daily living (31.6% vs 10.8%), to be transferred mechanically (20.5% vs 4.4%), to be overweight (mean body mass index = 26.6 vs 24.0 kg/m2), and to have diabetes (34.8% vs 25.7%). CONCLUSIONS Our findings that non-hip LE fractures often occur in severely functionally impaired residents suggest these fractures may have a different mechanism of injury than hip fractures. The resident differences in our study highlight the need for distinct prevention strategies for hip and non-hip LE fractures.

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Short TitleJournal of the American Geriatrics Society