Osteoporosis International

, Volume 29, Issue 7, pp 1601–1608 | Cite as

Incidence and outcomes of humeral fractures in the older person

  • M. Q. Wang
  • T. Youssef
  • P. Smerdely
Original Article



Humeral fractures are not well understood and thus we examined the incidence and outcomes of elderly humeral fractures at a single institution over a 3-year period. We found increasing incidence in humeral fractures with increasing age and negative outcomes comparable to hip fractures.


In this study, we report the incidence of humeral fractures in the older patient and their outcomes, including new nursing homes discharges and mortality, residing in the metropolitan referral area of a Sydney tertiary referral hospital.


All admissions between 2013 and 2016, of patients aged 65 years or more, presenting to hospital with humeral fractures were reviewed. The data was explored primarily for outcomes (mortality and new admissions to residential aged care facility) and secondarily for clinical association with humeral fractures.


Two hundred eighty-one episodes of humeral fracture were identified. Incidence peaked in the above 85-year-old group at 670 per 100,000 persons per year. Proximal fractures were accounted for 84.3% of the cohort. 12.8% received operative management. The in-hospital mortality rate was 3.6%. Gender was a significant predictor for mortality (OR = 5.8, 95% CI 1.3–28.5, p value = 0.0032) with males six times more likely to experience in-hospital mortality compared to females. 17.8% of participants were admitted to a new nursing home. Logistical regression demonstrated age (OR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.04–1.17; p value = 0.001) and Charlson comorbidity index (OR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.04–1.66; p value = 0.02) were predictors of admission to a new nursing home.


Humeral fractures are common in the older population and cause a substantial amount of new nursing home admissions and mortality. Further study is required to ascertain appropriate guidelines for treatment and rehabilitation.


Fractures Geriatric Incidence Nursing home Outcomes 



I thank the members of the medical record departments of Calvary Rehabilitation, St George Public, St George Private, President Private, Waratah Private, Kareena Private, Wollongong Public, Woy Woy Private, and Sutherland Public Hospitals for their assistance in data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aged Care, St George HospitalSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of NSWSydneyAustralia

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