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International consortium to examine the impact of medical devices on health and retirement
Date:1/5/2011

WASHINGTON, DCThe Institute for Health Technology Studies (InHealth) has awarded a grant of $240,000 to an international consortium of researchers, for a study that will assess the effects of hip replacement therapy on the employment and retirement decisions of older adults. Led by researchers at the Universit Bocconi (Milan), the consortium also includes investigators at the University of York (York, UK), and the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (Baltimore).

Hip replacement has been shown to improve quality of life by restoring physical mobility and reducing pain. However, there is evidence that a substantial number of patients who might benefit from the procedure do not receive it. Currently, between 200,000 and 300,000 hip replacement procedures are performed in the United States each year. But in the 2002 U.S. Health and Retirement Study, nearly 50% of retired respondents ages 55 to 64 reported arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions as the most significant reasons they could no longer work.

Early retirement triggered by such conditions is a contributing factor to the current financial crises of Europe's pension systems and of the U.S. Social Security trust fund, which is projected to be exhausted by 2037. Under their grant from InHealth, the consortium's researchers aim to generate evidence on whether hip replacement can enable people with debilitating musculoskeletal conditionsincluding severe pain, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritisto continue working, consequently easing the financial pressure on these critical retirement systems.

"Industrialized nations around the world are trying to accommodate the mounting cost pressure that their aging populations place on limited public and healthcare resources," says Martyn Howgill, InHealth's executive director. "InHealth's grant will help assess the impact of reduced disabilities made possible by hip replacements on public and private retirement funds."<
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Contact: Caitlin Hool
caitlin.hool@gabbe.com
212-220-4444
InHealth: The Institute for Health Technology Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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