The Times ran a fascinating article from a medical expert after Barry Humphries shock death, re hip fractures following falls by elderly folk. To the layman a hip fracture sounds like a nuisance rather than a death sentence, but apparently not so.

In Britain, 10% of the 700,000 people who annually suffer a hip fracture die within a month. Doubtless it’s the same everywhere. However, the victims are usually frail which one did not sense was the case with Humphries. Nevertheless, apparently the trick to avoid this is to maintain fitness even if that’s just a daily walking regime. But most critical for women and men is regular weight training, boring though this is, to maintain muscular strength and not dwindle into little old ladies (and men).

On that note it would be interesting to do a longevity study re people who’ve always lived in a two-story house and thought nothing of bowling up and down stairs each day. Possibly it adds a year or more to their lives.


The other preventative is adequate Vit D levels to help keep bones strong. In the UK there is not enough UV in winter to stimulate endogenous Vit D production so supplementation is very necessary. Covering up in summer also reduces Vit D production.
The elderly tend not to be sunbathers.

I am 74 and will hopefully, never break my hip. My step mother who died at 97, broke her hip when she was 94 – she was up and about after a short period, with a walking frame, mainly for safety.

My 86 year old Mum has been living for over 50 years in a house with the garage and laundry downstairs and all the rest of the living upstairs. She’s had a knee replacement but has had no hip trouble. She says herself that the stairs have kept her alive all this time.So, take steps.

Read Peter Attia’s book ‘Outlive’

Ah good point you make. My good wife found an article which says that if men do 40 press-ups each day, they reduce the incidence of heart issues by 60%. Stats never lie. So at 65 I started and built up to 40. A lover of American Philosophy (if something is good, more of it is better) I aimed for 50. Now at 69 I get there occasionally. Mostly it’s 42-45. It’s about habit. I get up at 6.20, take my pills for the blood cancer, put the kettle on then on the floor. Takes a minute. Or two. No more. If I don’t make us a cup of tea, I don’t do them.

In a strange coincidence, as the notification of this popped into my inbox, I simultaneously received an email saying my father in law had fallen and broken his hip.
It’s definitely a serious condition.

That’s a terrible statistic in Britain. I wonder what it is here? I worked with a very active engineer up until about 12 years ago. He had a hip replacement about a year prior to that and is just about to have his other hip done now. Although he’s older, I think he’ll live through this one too as he’s always kept himself busy with renovations and garden work. So, you’ve got the answer there Sir Bob, keep the body moving and doing things.

I used to work at ACC and a fractured NoF (Neck of Femur) was known as a granny killer, mostly to do with the loss of quality of life, enforced imobilisation and subsequnt decline in ability to care for ones self.
Incidently – a large number of these falls leading to a NoF fracture were caused by tripping over cats… making our feline friends one of the largest killers of the elderly.

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