WEDNESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Obese people, especially women, are more likely to suffer complications following hip replacement surgery, Swiss researchers say.
A Geneva University Hospital study included patients who had a total of 2,495 hip replacements (589 in obese patients) done at the hospital between March 1996 and July 2005.
The study, published in the March issue of the journal Arthritis Care & Research, found that obesity was associated with: a substantially higher risk for infection in women; more dislocations (a greater number in women than in men); and more revisions (redoing the hip replacement) due to septic loosening caused by infection.
The researchers also evaluated outcomes for 635 hip replacements in non-obese patients and in 183 hip replacements in obese patients five years after the surgery. Obese women, but not obese men, reported moderately lower functional outcomes and slightly less satisfaction, mostly due to a higher rate of complications, the study said.
Gender-related differences in body fat distribution and metabolic response may explain why women tended to have poorer results than men, the researchers suggested. They also said that lower peripheral muscle strength may be the cause of the higher number of dislocations noted in obese women, and that a higher rate of osteoarthritis and other factors may explain the lower functional outcomes in obese women.
"Because our study revealed increased complications among obese women, we suggest that surgeons counsel this group of patients so that they are made aware of this fact," the study authors wrote. "In addition, participating in a weight-loss program prior to surgery might be beneficial for such patients."
For more on hip replacement, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons Inc., news release, Feb. 28, 2007
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