A consecutive series of 282 patients with hip fractures, with a mean age of 76 years, was studied. Two-thirds of the patients (182) lived in their own homes, half of them alone and one-third of the 182 requiring regular help. Widows were more common in the age group 75-84 years and widowers and single men in the age group 65-74 years. Thirty % of the patients used walking aids and had previously sustained fractures of the osteoporotic type. One-fourth of the patients were confused on arrival at hospital. Laboratory tests differed little from values in the normal population. Chest X-ray was of value and cardiac decompensation was diagnosed in a small group. Time aspects of the hip fracture accident are discussed. No increase in incidence in the age group over 70 years was found during the period 1971-1981.