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Journal Article

Citation

Heikinheimo RJ, Jalonen-Mannikko A, Asumaniemi H, Lehtomaki E. Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 2004; 16(1): 41-43.

Affiliation

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Tampere Health Center, Tampere, Finland. rauno.heikinheimo@raunomo.fi

Copyright

(Copyright © 2004, Editrice Kurtis)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

15132290

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: External hip protectors have been shown to have a good preventive effect against hip fractures in many studies. However, these studies were carried out either entirely or mostly among older persons living in institutions. The aim of this study was to investigate whether health nurses can, after brief training, choose the right persons to use external hip protectors, so that, with a fairly small number of protectors, the number of hip fractures in home-dwelling older persons in a given area could be significantly reduced. METHODS: One hundred and fifty pairs of external hip protectors were given to the health nurses of the Central district of Tampere Health Center, to give to those older persons aged more than 75 years who, in their opinion, most needed preventive measures against hip fractures. Older persons living in other districts served as controls. The number of hip fractures in each district for each 6-month period was obtained from the Data Center of Pirkanmaa Health District. RESULTS: Whereas in control districts the number of hip fractures increased by 14 from 1.1.-30.6.1998 to 1.1.-30.6.2000 (49-63), their number diminished by 4 (43-39) in the Central district, where the protectors were used. The total cost of the external hip protectors was less than that required to treat one hip fracture in the first year. CONCLUSIONS: External hip protectors are most probably effective and economical in preventing hip fractures also among home-dwelling older persons, as has previously been shown among nursing home patients.

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