Background and purpose — Currently, no clear evidence exists on the pattern of use of antithrombotics at admission in hip fracture patients and how this has changed over time. We investigated temporal trends in—and factors associated with—the use of antithrombotics in patients admitted with a fractured hip. Patients and methods — This was a population-based cohort study including all patients aged 18 years or above who were admitted with a hip fracture in Denmark from 1996 to 2012. The Danish national registries were used to collect information on medication use, vital status, and comorbidity. Results — From 1996 to 2012, the proportion of patients using antithrombotics in general increased by a factor of 2.3 from 19% to 43% (p < 0.001). More specifically, the use of anticoagulants increased by a factor of 6.8 and the use of antiplatelets increased by a factor of 2.1. When we adjusted for possible confounders, the use of antithrombotics still increased for every calendar year (relative risk (RR) = 1.03, CI: 1.03–1.04; p < 0.001). Age, sex, and Charlson comorbidity index were all associated with the use of antithrombotics (all p < 0.001). Interpretation — The proportion of hip fracture patients using antithrombotics at admission has increased substantially in Denmark over the last 2 decades. This highlights the need for evidence-based guidelines on how to handle patients using antithrombotics to ensure safe surgery and to avoid surgical delay.