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The study authors analyzed U.S. national daton 4.3 million patients who suffered osteoporotic hip fractures between 1993 and 2008, and found that 67 percent of those hip fractures occurred in the extreme elderly.
During that time, the number of osteoporotic hip fractures among the extreme elderly increased from about 172,000 to 180,000, even though hip fracture prevalence declined from 2,236 to 1,600 per 1,000 person-years over the same period.
The researchers noted that the extreme elderly population in the United States rose from 7.7 million in 1993 to 11.2 million in 2008. They also noted that the extreme elderly made up 42 percent of the elderly U.S. population in 2008, but accounted for 69 percent of hospitalizations.
"We know that hip fracture in the extreme elderly is a serious problem due to the associated consequences of hospitalization, disability and [death]," lead author Amrita Sehgal, of the University of California, said in a news release from the European League Against Rheumatism.
"This data is cause for concern as the impact highlighted will only increase along with this population segment. The question now is how we manage the extreme elderly more effectively to limit the impact that osteoporotic fractures have going forward," she added.
By 2050, the extreme elderly are predicted to account for 25 percent of the U.S. population.
The study was scheduled for presentation Thursday at the European League Against Rheumatism annual meeting in Berlin. The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
-- Robert Preidt
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