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Large Joints Feature

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Want to Live Longer? Get A Hip Replacement

Biloine W. Young • Wed, March 7th, 2018

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It is no big news that hip replacement surgery improves the quality of life. A study led by Wolters Kluwer Health, indicates that patients undergoing elective total hip arthroplasty (THA) have a slightly improved survival rate compared to the general population. This held true through a decade after surgery.

Peter Cnudde M.D., who, with a colleague. conducted the study, said, "Our study suggests that hip replacement can add years to life as well as adding 'life to years'—increasing the chances of longer survival as well as improving the quality of life."

“The researchers analyzed the postoperative survival rate in nearly 132,000 patients undergoing a THA in Sweden from 1999 through 2012.The average age at hip replacement was about 68 years. During a median follow-up of 5.6 years, about 16.5% of patients had died.”

“Survival after THA was longer than expected when it was compared to people of similar age and sex in the Swedish general population. In the first year, survival was one percent better in THA patients tan it was in the matched population.”

“The difference increased to three percent at five years, and then decreased to two percent at 10 years. By 12 years, survival was no longer different for THA patients when compared to the general population.”

“Patients with more accompanying medical conditions had lower survival after getting a THA. A lower level of education and single marital status were also associated with lower survival.”

“The researchers note ‘strong indications’ that patients' survival after THA is improving, and that patients undergoing THA tend to live longer than a matched general population.”

"The reasons for the increase in relative survival are unknown but are probably multifactorial," the researchers wrote. They noted the fact that, in general, “only patients in relatively good health are selected for a THA.”

"While no surgeon would recommend THA to patients just to live longer, it is likely that the chances of surviving longer are associated with undergoing the successful operation, for patients in need of a hip replacement," said Cnudde.

The study, “Do Patients Live Longer After THA and Is the Relative Survival Diagnosis-specific,” is published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

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