Why Does a Hip Fracture Lead to Death in the Elderly?

Written by carole simm
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Why Does a Hip Fracture Lead to Death in the Elderly?
Among elderly people, falls often result in hip fractures. (elderly lady image by pixelcarpenter from Fotolia.com)

Around 2 per cent of falls among elderly people result in a hip fracture, and those with osteoporosis are at greatest risk. According to Dr. Kenneth W. Lyles of the Durham VA Medical Center, almost 25 per cent of elderly hip fracture patients die within a year of the injury.

People at Risk

The people who are most likely to die from a hip fracture are those who were not in very good health or were underweight before falling. This type of injury takes a heavy toll on an elderly body, and a frail person is least likely to recover. The risk of death also increases with age.


When people die quite soon after the fall, or following surgery, it is often due to complications, such as infection or pneumonia. If the person lives alone and is unable to summon help immediately after the fall, he is likely to develop hypothermia and dehydration, or may suffer blood loss, which intensifies the risk of death.

Reduced Mobility

Hip fractures result in severely reduced mobility levels, which can cause, or exacerbate, cardiovascular disease and can also lead to potentially fatal blood clots.

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