The Effect of Perioperative Anemia on Clinical and Functional Outcomes in Patients With Hip Fracture

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Abstract

Objectives:

To describe the epidemiology of perioperative anemia in patients with hip fracture and assess the relationship between the hemoglobin measurements and clinical outcomes.

Design:

Prospective observational cohort study.

Setting:

Four university and community teaching hospitals.

Patients:

A consecutive cohort of 550 patients who underwent surgery for hip fracture and survived to discharge from August 1997 and August 1998 were evaluated and followed prospectively.

Main Outcome Measures:

Deaths, readmissions and Functional Independence Motor mobility scores within 60 days of discharge.

Results:

Anemia (defined as hemoglobin <12.0 g/dL) was present in 40.4% of patients on admission, 45.6% at the presurgery nadir, 93.0% at the postsurgery nadir, and 84.6% near discharge. The mean drop in hemoglobin after surgery was 2.8 ± 1.6 g/dL. In multivariate analyses, higher hemoglobin levels on admission were associated with shorter lengths of hospital stay and lower odds of death and readmission even after controlling for a broad range of prefracture patient characteristics, clinical status on discharge, and use of blood transfusion. Admission and preoperative anemia was not associated with risk-adjusted Functional Independence Motor mobility scores. In multivariable analyses, higher postoperative hemoglobin was associated with shorter length of stay and lower readmission rates, but did not effect rates of death or Functional Independence Motor mobility scores.

Conclusions:

Substantial declines in hemoglobin were common in patients with hip fracture. Higher preoperative hemoglobin was associated with shorter length of stay and lower odds of death and readmission within 60 days of discharge. Postoperative hemoglobin was also related to length of stay and readmission rates.

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