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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 1999 June;158(3):69-71

Copyright © 1999 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Seasonal variation of fractures of the hip in Copenhagen

Levi N.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Frederiksberg Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)


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Back­ground. Sea­sonal ­effect on mor­bidity are ­known to ­have ­occurred ­since ­ancient ­times, and ­there are sev­eral con­di­tions ­that ­show ­marked sea­sonal pat­terns, ­such as ­overall mor­tality, myo­car­dial infarc­tion and res­pir­a­tory infec­tion. ­Most of ­these con­di­tions ­tend to ­occur ­more fre­quently in ­winter, and ­there is ­good evi­dence for a ­role of cli­matic fac­tors. ­Some ­reports sug­gest the exis­tence of sea­sonal ­changes in hip frac­ture inci­dence, ­with a ­peak in ­winter ­months, how­ever ­other inves­ti­ga­tion ­have ­failed to con­firm ­this ­finding. A ­study was there­fore ­made of 5018 frac­tured ­hips in Copen­hagen ­between 1978 and 1993.
­Methods. ­During a ­period of 16 ­years (Jan­uary 1978 - ­December 1993) all ­patients ­with hip frac­tures ­admitted to Fred­e­riks­berg Uni­ver­sity Hos­pital ­were ­recorded. The ­number of ­patients ­included in ­each ­month was ­noted and ­expressed as the ­number of ­patients ­included per 30-day ­period to elim­i­nate the vari­a­tion in the ­numher of ­days in dif­ferent ­months.
­Results. A ­total of 5018 hip frac­tures (4050 in ­women and 968 in men) ­were ­recorded. The ­median age was 80 ­years (­range 13-102). A ­total of 2870 ­were cer­vical frac­tures and 2148 ­were per­troch­an­teric frac­tures. ­There ­were 6 per ­cent ­more frac­tures in the 6 ­colder ­months ­from ­November to ­April ­than in the ­rest of the ­year (p<0.01).
Con­clu­sions. Our ­study ­seems to con­firm a sea­sonal pat­tern for hip frac­ture.

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