Admission albumin levels and functional outcome of elderly hip fracture patients: Is it that important?

Eliyahu H. Mizrahi*, Yehudit Fleissig, Marina Arad, Tzvia Blumstein, Abraham Adunsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Low serum albumin level is considered a marker of poor health outcome in various medical conditions. A relationship between low albumin levels and poor functional outcome has been found in the elderly, lower albumin predicting a greater functional decline. The objective of this study was to evaluate to what extent admission albumin levels may affect the functional outcome of elderly hip fracture patients. Methods: This retrospective chart review study was conducted in an orthogeriatric unit of a university-affiliated referral hospital. The participants were 449 elderly patients with hip fractures, admitted for a standard rehabilitation course. Functional outcome of patients with normo-albuminemia and hypo-albuminemia was assessed by Functional Independence Measurement (FIM™) at admission and discharge. Data were analyzed by t-test, Pearson's correlation, Chi-square test and Linear Regression. Results: 38.8% of patients were hypoalbuminemic upon admission. These patients were older (p<0.001) and had lower Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores (p=0.003), compared with normo-albuminemic patients. Discharge FIM scores were higher in normo-albuminemic compared with hypo-albuminemic patients (total FIM 86.1±23.9 and 77.0±26.4, respectively; p<0.001; motor-FIM 60.0±16.3 and 53.4±18.0, respectively; p<0.001). Linear regression analysis showed that total FIM at discharge was inversely associated with pre-fracture function (beta -0.13; p<0.001). A high MMSE score (beta 0.16; p<O. 001), female gender (beta 0.05; p=0.02) and higher admission total FIM scores (beta 0.69; p<0.001) emerged as predictors of higher total FIM scores upon discharge. Albumin levels did not independently predict better total FIM scores upon discharge (beta -0.02; p=0.36). Conclusions: Normo-albuminemic patients present with better admission FIM scores and have higher discharge FIM scores. After controlling for possible confounders, albumin remains a non-significant predictor of higher discharge FIM scores. We suggest that low albumin levels should not be considered as adversely affecting the rehabilitation of elderly hip fracture patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-289
Number of pages6
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Albumin
  • Elderly
  • Functional outcome
  • Hip fracture
  • Rehabilitation


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