, Volume 469, Issue 9, pp 2612-2620
Date: 15 Feb 2011

Frequency, Risk Factors, and Prognosis of Prolonged Delirium in Elderly Patients After Hip Fracture Surgery

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Delirium in elderly patients after hip fracture surgery is believed to be a transient event, although it frequently lasts for more than 4 weeks.


We determined the incidence, risk factors, morbidity, and mortality of prolonged delirium in elderly patients after hip fracture surgery.

Patients and Methods

We evaluated 232 elderly patients (older than 65 years) (232 hips) who underwent hip fracture surgery for the development and duration of delirium and categorized them into three groups; nondelirium group, transient (≤ 4 weeks) delirium group, and prolonged (> 4 weeks) delirium group. Patients underwent a global geriatric evaluation, which included postoperative complications, mortality, and functional and mental status evaluations. The three groups were compared with respect to these variables.


Seventy patients (30.2%) had delirium develop, and among these, 14 (20%) had prolonged delirium with a total incidence of 6%. Multivariate analysis showed preinjury dementia was a risk factor of prolonged delirium. At the final followup, five (62.5%) of the eight patients who were ambulatory outdoors in the prolonged delirium group became housebound, whereas only 18 (16.4%) of the 110 patients who were ambulatory outdoors in the nondelirium group became housebound. Survival at 40 months was 81.0% (95% confidence interval, 72.6%–89.3%) in the nondelirium group and 63.6% (95% confidence interval, 35.2%–92.1%) in the prolonged delirium group.


Prolonged delirium was found to be associated with a poor functional outcome and increased mortality.

Level of Evidence

Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.
This work was performed at Chung-Ang University College of Medicine.