Women at Greater Risk of Hip Implant Failure

First Posted: Feb 19, 2013 04:47 AM EST

A new finding published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that women are at a higher risk of having hip implant failure when compared to men.

In comparison with men, women undergo a higher number of Total Hip Replacement (THA) surgeries, also known as hip arthroplasty.

In order to examine the association between sex and short-term risk of THA revision, researchers at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, San Diego, evaluated nearly 35,140 surgeries at 46 hospitals in the Kaiser Permanente health system with three years median follow up. Out of these, nearly 57 patients were women who belonged to the age group of 66 years. They noticed that 29 percent of the women were more likely than men to repeat a surgery within the first three years. The study was funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Even after taking into consideration several factors, the researchers noticed a higher risk of hip implant failure in women.

The researchers calculated the health hazard based on the femoral size. Women with a larger femoral head faced problems. If the head size was 36 mm or more, the health hazard in women when compared to men was 1.49 percent. Even if women had metal on metal implants, the risk was high when compared to men. Therefore it is less likely that women will have implants with a femoral size of 36 mm.  

According to the study authors, it is important to understand the association between the roles of sex and implant failure after a complete hip replacement, in order to improve patient management and device innovation, reports Counsel & Heal.  

Diana Zuckerman, president of the nonprofit National Research Center for Women & Families, states that such a research could save several billion dollars. In addition to this, it helps patients avoid the pain and inconvenience of hip implant surgeries, reports Counsel & Heal.

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