Costs Induced by Hip Fractures: A Prospective Controlled Study in Belgium
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The economic burden of hip fractures is thought to be important, but the excess medical costs they induce remain largely unknown. We assessed the direct medical costs induced by hip fractures during and after hospitalization. Hospital costs of 170 consecutive Belgian women with hip fracture were gathered. During the year following discharge, all medical costs were collected for the 159 hip fracture women who survived the acute hospitalization stay. A similar collection of data was performed on a comparison group of 159 age-and residence-matched women without a history of hip fracture. The mean cost of the acute hospital stay was C8667, and the mean 1-year hip-fracture-related extra costs after hospitalization was C6636. During the year following the acute hospital stay, 19% of the hip fracture women and 4% of the comparison women were newly admitted to nursing homes (p<0.001). Although health care costs increased with age, hip-fracture-related extra costs after hospitalization seemed similar in those below or above 81 years old. These extra costs amounted to C7710 in women not living in nursing homes at the time of fracture, and to C3479 in women who lived in nursing homes. Health or mental status before hip fracture seemed not to affect extra costs. Taking into account the higher mortality of women with hip fracture, the extra costs during the acute hospital stay and during the 1-year follow-up amounted to a mean C 15151. In conclusion, both acute hospital stays and subsequent medical care contribute significantly to medical costs induced by hip fractures.
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