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MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Providing home care to elderly people after they've had hip surgery improves their chances of survival, finds a new study.
Canadian researchers looked at 11,326 men and women age 65 and older in Quebec who had partial hip surgery between 1997 and 2004. Those who received home care after leaving the hospital were 43% less likely to die within three months after their surgery than those who didn't receive home care.
But the study, published Aug. 16 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that home care was given to less than 16% of the elderly patients who were discharged home after partial hip surgery.
Patients who received home care were younger; more likely to have been treated in teaching hospitals or lower volume hospitals; and more likely to have stayed more than seven days in the hospital. They were also more likely to have acute kidney failure and a heart rhythm condition called atrial fibrillation.
The study also found that men were more likely than women to die, and patients hospitalized longer had higher survival rates.
With the exception of atrial fibrillation and acute kidney failure, co-existing health conditions didn't seem to influence the chances of receiving home care, the researchers said in a news release from the publisher.
"This indicates perhaps that receiving this care may depend on availability, rather than need of the service," wrote Dr. Elham Rahme, a researcher in epidemiology at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center in Montreal, and colleagues in the release.
The finding has significant public health implications and requires further investigation, the authors said.
-- Robert Preidt
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