You've heard the warnings time and again.
If you take a fall... and break a hip... your life could change forever.
As I've shared with you before, most patients with hip fractures find that even after surgery and rehab, they never really feel like themselves again.
A third of them don't ever return to living independently. And that's if they're lucky enough to go on living at all.
We've known for a while that breaking a hip can spike your risk of death in the year immediately following your fracture.
But according to a new study, that elevated death risk can linger for 10 YEARS -- and it’s not just a broken hip that can send you to an early grave.
In the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers followed over 30,000 folks age 50 and up -- all of whom had taken a fall and broken a bone – over the course of a decade.
In the year after breaking a hip, men had a 33 percent higher chance of dying, and women had a 20 percent higher chance of dying compared to those in the general population who hadn't broken a hip.
And that makes sense -- because not only can hip surgery leave you a sitting duck for infections like sepsis and pneumonia, but being off your feet for weeks can worsen underlying conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and dementia.
But the study also found that even if you survive that first year after breaking your hip, your risk of death REMAINS higher than normal for up to a DECADE!
As I just mentioned, it's not just your hip bone that you have to worry about. Study participants who broke their femur or their pelvis had up to a 25 percent greater risk of dying in the year following the fracture.
Fractures of smaller bones -- like the clavicle or lower leg bones -- were less deadly, but they STILL raised the participants' risk of death up to 10 percent for a year.
And no matter which bone the participants broke (other than the hip), that elevated death risk persisted for up to five years!
After age 50, everyone’s bones lose some strength and density -- but if you've got osteoporosis, your skeleton can be as fragile as a china set.
To beef up your bones, load up on protein, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins D and K.
Regularly drinking black tea... getting plenty of sleep... and doing weight-bearing exercises like walking or jogging can also help fortify your bones.
And while you're at it, take some steps to stay steady on your feet and not make like Humpty Dumpty. As I always say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Activities like dance and tai chi can improve your balance, as can avoiding drugs that cause dizziness, like blood pressure meds and sleep aids.