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Study shows increase of hip and knee replacements in the US
Date:4/14/2008

With the graying of Americas Baby Boomer generation, arthritis is a growing health concern. Traditionally associated with the elderly, this common joint disease currently afflicts over 20 million men and women in the United States. To aggravate matters, arthritis is also prevalent among the overweightwhich describes nearly 65 percent of our nations adult population. Fortunately, treating the pain and disability of arthritis has been revolutionized by surgical joint replacements of the hips and knees. Unfortunately, as hip and knee replacements have become a more popular option, the toll on Medicare, private insurers and hospitals has escalated. Despite its huge implications for the healthcare system, the projected impact of joint replacements has attracted scant study.

To assess and address this issue, Sunny Kim, PhD, a researcher with the Robert Stempel School of Public Health at Florida International University, started with one of the largest databases of hospital procedures available: the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). Using the latest revision of international procedure coding, Dr. Kim identified joint replacement cases throughout the US and analyzed increases in surgeries and costs between 1997 and 2004. The April 2008 issue of Arthritis Care & Research (www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis) presents hard-hitting numbers to back her conclusion: the burden resulting from hip/knee joint replacement is not only substantial but also increasing at a steep rate.

Among Dr. Kims significant, distressing findings:

  • In 2004, approximately 431,485 primary knee replacements were performeda 53 percent increase from the year 2000. 225,900 primary hip replacements were performed in the USmarking a 37 percent increase for the same period.

  • In 1997, about 60 of primary hip replacements
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Contact: Sean Wagner
swagner@bos.blackwellpublishing.com
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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