The association between weather warnings and hip fractures in the Republic of Ireland
This study examined the relationship between hip fractures and weather warnings with the hypothesis higher rates of fractures occur during warnings. National hip fracture database and weather warning records were utilised. Higher rates of hip fractures were found with severe warnings. This has implications for planning in future severe warnings.
Background: Hip fractures represent a significant burden on the Irish Health system with 3666 in 2020. The Irish National Meteorological Service operates a colour coded warning system. Yellow being least severe, while orange represents weather with capacity to impact individuals in affected areas and red represents advice to protect themselves and property. Previous studies investigated the seasonality of hip fractures, which remains but none have investigated the relationship between weather warnings and rates of hip fractures. The hypothesis was that increasing weather warnings would be associated with increased hip fractures. The aim was to investigate the relationship between weather warnings and hip fractures in the Republic of Ireland.
Methods: Comparison of national weather warning archives from 2013 to 2019 to Fracture Database records. Reviews assessed whether fractures occurred on days a weather warning was in place in the individual's local county. A statistical analysis of warning features and their relationship to hip fractures was then performed. Fractures and weather warnings were stratified by county with both a panel and case crossover analysis performed.
Results: There was a tendency towards increased incidence of hip fractures with weather warnings in adjusted analysis (IRR 1.02; 95%CI 0.99-1.06; p-value 0.123). Orange warnings were associated with a statistically higher incidence of fractures (IRR 1.06; 1.01-1.12; p-value 0.026). In both panel and case crossover analysis, both orange and yellow warnings were associated with fractures. Red warnings were associated with a lower incidence of fracture on day of warning (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.92; 0.70-1.22; p-value 0.569) but a higher incidence on the following day (adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.14; 0.88-1.46; p-value 0.313).
Conclusion: An increased incidence of hip fractures appears to occur during weather warnings. Consideration should be given when preparing for periods of extreme weather, ensuring sufficiently resources.
Open Access funding provided by the IReL Consortium
CommentsThe original article is available at https://link.springer.com/
Published CitationStanley C. et al. The association between weather warnings and hip fractures in the Republic of Ireland. Arch Osteoporos. 2023;18(1):53.
Publication Date21 April 2023
- Beaumont Hospital
- School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
- Published Version (Version of Record)