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Preterm Delivery and Low Birth Increases Risk of Osteoarthritis Caused Hip Replacement in Adulthood

Update Date: Nov 04, 2014 09:21 AM EST

Lower birth weight and preterm deliveries are linked to increased risk of osteoarthritis caused hip replacements in adulthood, a new study claims.

The study by Monash University looked at data from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study which showed increased risk for hip replacements due to osteoarthritis in people who had a low birth weight and were born in preterm delivery. However the study did not show an increased risk for knee replacements.

"Our findings suggest that individuals born prematurely or with low birth weight are more likely to need hip replacement surgery for OA in adulthood. While further investigation is needed to confirm these findings, indentifying those at greatest risk for hip OA and providing early interventions may help reduce the incidence of this debilitating disease," said Professor Flavia Cicuttini of university's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

The study analysed data of 3,604 participants to find that 116 participants had knee replacements while 75 had hip replacement. Researchers obtained information from participants on their birth time and weight. While no association was found between knee replacement and lower birth weight, preterm delivery, an increased risk for hip arthroplasty in participants with lower birth weight and those who were delivered in preterm deliveries.

"Currently there are no disease-modifying medications available to treat OA, which makes understanding the risk factors associated with OA so important for improving prevention of this disabling disease," said Cicuttini in a press release.

The study adds to previous research showing link between hypertension, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and reduced bone mass in adulthood.

The study, which was published in Arthritis Care & Research, pointed out that 27 million Americans over the age of 25 are diagnosed with clinical Osteoarthritis with mild to severe symptoms. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of disability in the US.

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