Higher Hip Replacement Failures in Women, Study Confirms (VIDEO)

First Posted: Feb 19, 2013 10:13 PM EST

Aging for anyone can be a difficult process. Particularly for women, things like menopause, osteoporosis and other health issues more commonly found in females can make the ordeal even more horrific, and unfortunately, now they can add higher failure rates for hip replacements, too, according to a new study.

Research published in the JAMA Internal Medicine and funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration studied the high number of failure rates in hip replacement.

The new study of more than 35,000 people found that no matter the hip replacement, women were almost 30 percent more likely than men to need a repeat surgery within the first three years.

Study co-author Dr. Art Sedrakyan, the associate professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said according to CBSNews.com that the overall absolute risk still remains low according to CBSNews.com.

"It's really an exciting paper," said Sedrakyan. "What we've observed is regardless of size, women had higher rate of revision occurrence."

For the study, Sedrakyan and his team looked at 35,140 surgeries at 46 hospitals in the Kaiser Permanente health system.

After an average of three years, 2.3 percent of the women and 1.9 percent of the men had undergone revision surgery to fix a problem with the original hip replacement. Problems included instability, infection, broken bones and loosening.

 Sedrakyan said she believed the increase to be to be due to rejection of foreign material during the hip replacement, but not because of infection. This suggests that the most common problems that required another surgery were dislocation and wear of the product.

But what was likely to be the reason for the gender differences?

As women tend to have smaller joints and bones than men, the hip replacements often require smaller materials.

Co-author Dr. Monti Khatod, an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles, has also speculated that women experience greater bone loss, according to USA Today.

Want to learn more about hip replacements? Check out this video, courtesy of CBSNews.com

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