Chronic physical health conditions up to five years after serious orthopaedic injury

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Background: Information about the prevalence of chronic physical health conditions following serious orthopaedic injury is currently lacking in the general population and is essential for quantifying the burden of injury and improving outcomes. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of chronic physical health conditions recorded within hospitalisations and emergency department presentations and associated factors five years following serious orthopaedic injury. Methods: We conducted a registry-based cohort study using data from the Victorian State Trauma Registry (2007–2016) linked with hospital admissions and ED presentations for 16,249 adults with serious orthopaedic injuries. We considered that people who were admitted to hospital or presented to an emergency department with a chronic physical health condition one to five years post-injury had “new-onset” conditions. We applied Kaplan-Meier failure curves and Cox proportional hazard regression models to determine factors associated with new-onset conditions. Results: There were 1420 people (11.0%) with at least one new-onset condition. Cancer (6.1%), cardiovascular disease (5.1%) and hypertension (6.2%) were the three most common “new-onset” chronic physical health conditions. Older adults, women, smokers, and people with mental health and alcohol and drug-related conditions had a higher risk of hospitalisation or emergency department presentation with new-onset conditions post-injury. Conclusion: People with serious orthopaedic injuries experienced a significant additional burden of chronic physical health conditions up to five years after serious orthopaedic injury, posing a new challenge to post-trauma care. Early preventive interventions may be required in people with serious orthopaedic injuries to minimise modifiable risk factors such as smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol or drug use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1468
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Chronic conditions
  • CVD
  • Major trauma
  • Orthopaedic injury
  • Orthopaedic trauma
  • Physical health conditions

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