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Hip Replacement Surgery More Likely to Fail in Women: Study Says

Update Date: Feb 18, 2013 07:37 PM EST
Hip replacement surgery
(Photo : REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

Hip replacements are slightly more likely to fail in women than they are in men, according to one of the largest studies of its kind in the U.S.

Researchers looked at more than 35,000 surgeries at 46 hospitals in the Kaiser Permanente health system. Of the patients followed, 57 percent were women who were an average age of about 66 years old. The study concludes that women were 29 percent more likely than men to need a repeat surgery within the first three years.

The researchers said they believe their findings could help doctors better manage the anatomical differences between men and women.

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"The role of sex in relationship to implant failure after total hip [replacement] is important for patient management and device innovation," the study authors wrote in the report published online Feb. 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

"The role of sex in relationship to implant failure after total hip arthroplasty (THA) is important for patient management and device innovation," the study says.

The study was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine and was funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"This is the first step in what has to be a much longer-term research strategy to figure out why women have worse experiences," said Diana Zuckerman, president of the nonprofit National Research Center for Women & Families, who wrote an accompanying editorial to this study in the same journal issue. "Research in this area could save billions of dollars" and prevent patients from experiencing the pain and inconvenience of surgeries to fix hip implants that go wrong.

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