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Hip and knee replacements surge as obesity grips Canada

Friday, October 27, 2006 by: Jerome Douglas
Tags: obesity, osteoarthritis, knee replacement surgery

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(NewsTarget) Canadian citizens had an increasing number of hip and knee replacement surgeries -- up by 87 percent -- over the last decade, according to a new report from the annual Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). CIHI's report, issued Wednesday, links the increase in these procedures to both an aging population and obesity.

"The number of hip and knee replacement surgeries is increasing at a faster rate than the population is aging," said Margaret Keresteci -- CIHI's manager of Clinical Registries. According to the Canadian joint replacement registry's 2006 annual report, younger Canadians are undergoing hip and knee replacement procedures at an increasing rate, joining the bulk of hip and knee replacement recipients who are age 65 and older.

A decade ago -- from 1994 to 1995 -- Canadians over the age of 65 made up 71 percent of all hip and knee replacement surgeries. In 2006, that same age group now only accounts for 66 percent of all hip and knee replacement surgeries.

The registry's data shows that the largest increase in hip and knee replacement surgeries came between the ages of 45 and 54 this year. The number of hip replacements also doubled in amount during the last decade for that age group, as the number of knee replacements increased by 81 percent over that same period.

In totality, the changes in age grouping of hip and knee replacement surgeries in Canada point towards an overall increase in obesity -- which may be playing a role in the number of surgeries. From 2004 to 2005, 90 percent knee replacement patients were considered overweight or obese, along with 80 percent of hip replacement patients.

CIHI's Keresteci went on to add that "there is an association between obesity and the increased risk of osteoarthritis, which is the most common diagnosis in joint replacement surgery."

The annual report by the CIHI includes information from its hospital morbidity database and the Canadian joint replacement registry as well. CIHI's latest report also shows that the number of knee replacements surpassed the number hip replacements in the past decade, as 33,590 knee replacements and 25,124 hip replacements were performed over that time period.


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