Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Cases of hospital infections after hip surgery have risen drastically over a 10-year period, according to a new study.
Researchers in Denmark found the increase during an analysis of medical records for 74,771 patients over age 65 who underwent first-time hip fracture surgery, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, examined 74,771 patients, ages 65 years or older, who underwent first-time hip fracture surgery.
Within 30 days following the surgery, the number of hospital-treated infections shot up from nearly 11 percent between 2005 and 2006 to more than 14 percent between 2015 and 2016.
Reported cases of pneumonia during the 30-day window were even worse, with a 70 percent increase from 2015 to 2016 compared to 10 years prior. Community-based antibiotic prescriptions within 30 days after surgery went up by 54 points to 27.1 percent in 2015-2016.
"This nationwide study found increasing risk of hospital-treated infections and community-based antibiotic prescriptions after hip fracture surgery during the 12-year study period, which could not entirely be explained by increases seen in the general population," lead author Kaja Kjørholt, a researchers at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, said in a press release.
The study reveals that hip fracture surgery patients faced greater risk of infection than in "age- and gender-matched general population."
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 300,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the U.S.
"Given the high mortality following infections in elderly individuals, future research and clinical work should focus on improving our understanding of the risk factors and patient profiles associated with postoperative infections. Knowledge of risk factors may enable cost-effective preventive measures and treatment protocols to reduce infections and mortality," Kjørholt said.