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Rev Esp Geriatr Gerontol. 2011 Nov-Dec;46(6):289-96. doi: 10.1016/j.regg.2011.05.008. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

[Characteristics of hip fracture and functional recovery in elderly people with a history of recurrent falling].

[Article in Spanish]

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Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Albacete, España.


Recurrent falls affect between 14.8% and 19% of the elderly population, and are associated with an increased risk of fracture. We know little about the influence the history of recurrent falls may have on recovery after hip fracture.


Cohort study. The patients included were, over 65 years admitted during a 1 year period to the General University Hospital of Albacete with a hip fracture due to a fall. Recurrent falls were defined as a history of two or more falls within the 6 months prior to the fracture.


demographic data, circumstances of fall, number of falls in the previous 6 months, type of fracture and its repair, comorbidity and drug treatment, cognitive status at admission (Pfeiffer test) and independence for activities of daily living (Barthel Index - BI) were collected. A subsample of patients with pre-fracture BI ≥ 60 and Pfeiffer at admission ≤ 4 was followed up at 3, 6 and 12 months.


A total of 335 patients were admitted. Data were collected on 279 of them, 19.4% of whom had previously suffered two or more falls. The recurrent fallers had a worse mental status on admission, a higher number of associated diseases, a lower percentage of independence in dressing and in bed-chair transferring than patients without history of recurrent falls, all statistically significant. In the 201 patients followed up, the impairment on the BI after 12 months compared to the BI previous to fracture was higher in recurrent fallers (-20.8 ± 31.54 vs -10.73 ± 20.21, P=.04), focusing more on independence in eating (76% vs 91.9%, P<.05), grooming (72% vs 91,9%, P<.01), faecal continence (60% vs 78.7%, p<.05) and walking indoors (80% vs 93.3%, P<.05).


The recovery of independence after hip fracture is significantly lower in the group of recurrent fallers in patients without moderate or severe functional impairment previous to fracture and cognitively stable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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