Espino, D.V., Ross, J.S., Oakes, S.L. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2008) 20: 344. doi:10.1007/BF03324866
Background and aims: Hip fractures are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the older adult population. The evidence of the incidence of morbidity and mortality in Mexican Americans compared to other ethnic groups is mixed. This study aims to examine characteristics and utilization patterns of older Mexican Americans compared to Whites and Blacks, hospitalized for hip fracture in the Southwestern United States. Methods: Retrospective analysis of the Medicare and Medicaid claims data for the southwestern states of California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. All Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and above, hospitalized for non-pathologic hip fractures, participated in the study. Mexican Americans were directly identified from the H-EPESE database. The primary outcome measures were length of stay, total charges and number of diagnoses. Results: The total proportion of hospital encounters related to hip fractures within each ethnic group was 3.7% for Whites, 2.0% for Mexican Americans and 1.2% for Blacks. The mean patient age for the hip fracture was 82.5 years while the non-hip fractures encounters had a mean age of 76.6 years. A higher percentage of Mexican Americans who suffered fracture were female. Although length of stay for Mexican Americans was equivalent to Whites, comparative total charges for Mexican Americans were lower. Mexican Americans also have lower mean number of diagnoses at admission than the other groups (MA=5.5, B=6.2, W=5.9: p<0.001). Conclusions: Mexican American elders in the southwestern United States who are hospitalized for hip fractures are more likely to be female, relatively healthier, and have lower health care costs when compared to Whites and especially to Blacks in the same region.