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Surge in hip fractures could be sign of ‘post-covid deconditioning’

A rise in hip fractures last year could be a symptom of a wider increase in general physical deconditioning in older and vulnerable people following the pandemic, senior clinicians have warned.

Around 72,000 hip fractures were recorded in 2022 compared to 66,000 in 2020 and 67,000 in 2021, according to the 2023 National Hip Fracture Database report, published this month.

The report, published by the Royal College of Physicians, said: “These additional hip fractures happened despite a fall in the size of the ‘at risk’ older population over the preceding three years, as a result of Covid-19-related mortality among older people and those living in care homes.”

“Our casemix run chart shows a slight increase in the proportion of hip fractures occurring in people aged under 80.

“This is perhaps an early indication of Public Health England’s [now the UK Health Security Agency] predictions that physical deconditioning and increased risk of falling due to the pandemic may lead to an increase in the number of people who are at risk of fragility fracture.”

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Source: HSJ. 25 September 2023


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