Hip fracture in the elderly: does counting time from fracture to surgery or from hospital admission to surgery matter when studying in-hospital mortality?
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This study aims to analyze whether the interval from hospital admission to surgery may be used as a surrogate of the actual gap from fracture to surgery when investigating in-hospital hip fracture mortality. After analyzing 3,754 hip fracture admissions, we concluded that those intervals might be used interchangeably without misinterpretation bias.
The debate regarding the influence of time to surgery in hip fracture (HF) mortality is one of the most controversial issues in the HF medical literature. Most previous investigations actually analyzed the time from hospital admission to surgery as a surrogate of the less easily available gap from fracture to surgery. Notwithstanding, the assumption of equivalency between those intervals remains untested.
We analyzed 3,754 hospital admissions of elderly patients due to HF in Quebec, Canada. We compared the performance as predictors of in-hospital mortality of the delay from admission to surgery and the actual gap from fracture to surgery using univariate and multiple logistic regression analysis.
The mean times from fracture to surgery and from admission to surgery were 1.84 and 1.02 days (P < 0.001), respectively. On univariate logistic regression, both times were slightly significant as mortality predictors, yielding similar odds ratios of 1.08 (P < 0.001) for time from fracture to surgery and 1.11 (P < 0.001) for time from admission to surgery. After accounting for other covariates, neither times remained significant mortality predictors.
The gap from admission to surgery may be used as a surrogate of the actual delay from fracture to surgery when studying in-hospital HF mortality.
KeywordsElderly Hip fracture Mortality Osteoporosis Time to surgery
We are grateful to Michèle Paré, analyst at the GRIS, University of Montreal, for her assistance with the preparation of the MED-ECHO database. Three authors (DCMF, CMC, and KRCJ) were partially supported by research fellowship grants from the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). FBF was supported by a research fellowship grant from the State of São Paulo Foundation for Research Support (FAPESP).
Conflicts of interest
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