If you want to live a long healthy life, then don't fall and break your hip after the age of 65. If you do, says a new study, your risk of dying within one year goes up substantially.
That's exactly what happened to Ella. She was in her early 70s when she fell and broke her hip. After her first surgery, infection set in. The doctors conducted more surgeries and couldn't control the infection. They finally had to remove her entire hip. She died within a week of the final surgery — and two months after the fall.
That's why, whenever I hear of someone falling and breaking a hip, my heart sinks. While I know a few people who have survived long-term after breaking a hip, in my experience very few live more than a year after the fall. Whether it's due to infection in the hip, contracting antibiotic-resistant infections because of the long hospital stay, or just giving up on life, few people survive long after a hip fracture.
Scientists from Australia noticed this same pattern and wanted to know how widespread it was. They were hoping to find a way to stop the excess morbidity after a hip fracture. Here's what they did:
The researchers looked at 9,748 people aged 65 and older. All of them were in the hospital because of a hip fracture. They compared these folks with a group of non-injured individuals they selected from an electoral poll.
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The researchers found that the people who suffered a hip fracture experienced significantly worse survival in the year following the fracture. They found:
- Individuals with hip fracture were more than 3.5 times more likely to die within 12 months compared to their non-injured counterparts (mortality rate ratio 3.62 [95%CI 3.23-4.05]).
- Hip fracture was likely to be a contributory factor in 72% of mortality within 12 months after the index hospital admission.
- Excess mortality risk at 12 months was higher in males than in females, and in the 65-74-year age group compared to older age groups.
The last statistic is a bit surprising, but people who live past 74 seem to be more resilient. This tells us there might be ways to prevent hip fractures — and if you do suffer a fracture, there are ways to prepare your body ahead of time to survive the fracture.
Obviously, your nutritional status and physical fitness are going to play a significant role in how well you handle a fall and potential break. Eating a diet rich in vegetables and protein, exercising regularly, and taking nutrients, such as Ultimate Bone Support, to protect your bones all will go a long way toward pre-conditioning your body to avoid and handle any fractures. Despite all my adventures through the years, I've never broken a bone (other than my pinky toe when I kicked a chair). So what you put in your body is important.
It's also important to make sure you're absorbing all those nutrients. I'll have more on this on Saturday. In the meantime, take steps today to avoid falls and hip fractures. They can be a death sentence if you don't take steps ahead of time to ensure you survive.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND
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