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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Protein depletion and metabolic stress in elderly patients who have a fracture of the hip.

A prospective study was performed to determine the effect of protein depletion and postoperative nutritional status on the outcome in sixty-three elderly patients who had been admitted to the hospital because of a fracture of the hip. The parameters that were used to determine the degree of protein depletion included levels of albumin, of prealbumin, and of transferrin; total lymphocyte count; and nitrogen-balance studies. The outcomes that were examined were the development of complications, the length of the stay in the hospital, the ability to return to the pre-fracture level of function, and over-all survivorship. The hypothesis was that the acute fracture and the subsequent operation are severe stresses in these elderly, often compromised patients. The results supported the hypothesis. Thirty-seven patients (58 per cent) in the study group were in a protein-depleted state during the period of hospitalization. The patients who were protein-depleted had a higher prevalence of complications, were less likely to return to their pre-fracture environment, and tended to stay in the hospital longer, as compared with the nonprotein-depleted patients. Survivorship analysis showed that protein-depleted patients had a significantly lower probability of survival one year after the fracture of the hip (p = 0.02). Elderly patients who sustain the trauma of a fracture of the hip should be managed appropriately with regard to intake of nutrients in the postoperative period.[1]


  1. Protein depletion and metabolic stress in elderly patients who have a fracture of the hip. Patterson, B.M., Cornell, C.N., Carbone, B., Levine, B., Chapman, D. The Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume. (1992) [Pubmed]
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