Women less likely to be given geriatric care for emergency hip surgery

Washington: A new study now finds that more than 70 per cent of patients receiving surgery for hip fracture are women, and yet they are less likely than men to receive geriatric care during hospitalisation, or an anaesthesiology consultation before surgery.

The study was published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Previous studies have shown that older patients who receive geriatric care when hospitalised for hip fracture surgery are less likely to die after surgery and spend less time in hospital, and that anesthesiology consultations can help to avoid cancelled surgeries and may decrease length of stay.

However, in the new study, researchers found only 8 per cent of women receive geriatric care compared to 10 per cent of men.

Speaking about the study, senior author Dr. Daniel McIsaac said, “Overall, we found that geriatric care for these vulnerable hip fracture patients was not routinely provided. However, given that 70 per cent of hip fractures occur in women, and what we know about the positive effect of providing geriatric care to older hip fracture patients, increasing access to this care should be a top priority.”

“A person’s sex or gender should not play a role in whether evidence-based care is provided,” Dr McIsaac added.

The study further found that women from low-income neighbourhoods were also less likely to receive geriatric care than men from similar neighbourhoods.

Furthermore, Women with dementia were less likely than men with dementia to receive an anesthesiology consultation before surgery.

According to researchers the disparities may be due to sociocultural biases. Another possibility is that since men have a higher risk of death after hip fracture surgery than women, it influences how physicians decide to apply the resources available.