[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 22-Mar-2013
[ | E-mail Share Share ]

Contact: Lauren Pearson Riley
pearson@aaos.org
708-227-1773
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Hip replacement reduces heart failure, depression and diabetes risk

Study supports the value of THR in aiding long-term health at minimal cost

CHICAGO In addition to improving life quality and diminishing pain, total hip replacement (THR) is associated with reduced mortality, heart failure, depression and diabetes rates in Medicare patients with osteoarthritis, according to a new study presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The procedure also is cost effective with the 7-year costs of THR only $6,366 higher than the cost of treating an osteoarthritis patient for hip pain without THR.

"The study has demonstrated that THR confers a potential long-term benefit in terms of prolonged lifespan and reduced burden of disease in Medicare patients with osteoarthritis of the hip," said lead study author Scott Lovald, PhD, a researcher at Exponent, Inc.

While the short-term benefits of THR are well known and documented, less information exists on the long-term effects, cost and value of the surgery.

Using Medicare codes, researchers identified more than 43,000 patients with osteoarthritis of the hip from 1998 to 2009. These patients were divided into two groups those receiving THR and those not receiving THR. The researchers followed all of the patients for at least one year, and nearly 24,000 for seven years, looking at annual Medicare payments, mortality, and new diagnoses of congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, artherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries), diabetes and depression. The data was adjusted for differences in age, sex, race, buy-in status, region and Charlson score (standard quantification of the number and severity of comorbidities a patient presents with).

Among the results:

The THR patients in the study did have an increased risk of ischemic heart disease and atherosclerosis at one year, and an increased risk of "cardiovascular disease unspecified" over all time points.

The seven-year cumulative average Medicare payment for all medical care was $82,788 for non-THR patients and $89,154 for THR patients, for a difference of $6,366. The actual average per-patient THR cost is expected to be much less than $6,366 when differences in costs incurred due to prescription pain medications are taken into account.

"Joint (replacement) has been proposed as possibly cost-saving in the management of disability related to arthritis," said Lovald. "This study provides supporting data to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of THR."

###

Learn more: AAOS.org

Follow us on Facebook.com/AAOS1 and Twitter.com/AAOS1.

A Nation in Motion

More than one in four Americans have bone or joint health problems, making them the greatest cause of lost work days in the U.S. When orthopaedic surgeons restore mobility and reduce pain, they help people get back to work and to independent, productive lives. Orthopaedic surgeons provide a great value, in both human and economic terms; and access to high-quality orthopaedic care keeps this "Nation in Motion." To learn more, to read hundreds of patient stories or to submit your own story, visit ANationinMotion.org.

For more information on bone and joint health, visit Orthoinfo.org.



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.