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Obesity associated with longer hospital stays, higher costs in total knee replacement patients

Date:
May 14, 2014
Source:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Summary:
Obesity is associated with longer hospital stays and higher costs in total knee replacement patients, independent of whether or not the patient has an obesity-related disease or condition (comorbidity), according to a new study. More than half of TKR patients have a body mass index (BMI) within the obesity range (greater than 30 kg/m²), which has been linked to a higher risk for related comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis; and in some studies, to higher medical costs and longer hospital stays.

Obesity is associated with longer hospital stays and higher costs in total knee replacement (TKR) patients, independent of whether or not the patient has an obesity-related disease or condition (comorbidity), according to a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery(JBJS).

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More than half of TKR patients have a body mass index (BMI) within the obesity range (greater than 30 kg/m²), which has been linked to a higher risk for related comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis; and in some studies, to higher medical costs and longer hospital stays. However, research has been inconclusive as to whether the higher related medical costs in obese TKR patients are directly due to a higher BMI or related comorbidities.

In the JBJS study, researchers reviewed the BMI, comorbidities, complications, outcomes and cost of care of 8,129 patients who had undergone 6,475 primary TKRs and 1,654 revision TKRs at a major medical center between Jan. 1, 2000 and Sept. 30, 2008. The median patient age was 68. Fifty-seven percent of the patients who underwent primary TKR and 53 percent who underwent revision TKR were female. The mean patient BMI was 31.6 kg/m².

Among the key findings of the research:

  • The most common patient comorbidities were hypertension and diabetes.
  • Length of stay and direct medical costs were lowest for patients with BMI values in the normal to overweight range.
  • Every 5-unit increase in BMI beyond 30 kg/m² was associated with higher hospitalization costs: in 2010 U.S. dollars, approximately $250 to $300 for patients undergoing TKR and $600 to $650 for patients undergoing a revision joint replacement. These estimates persisted after adjusting for comorbidities and complications.
  • Every 5-unit increase in BMI beyond 30 kg/m² was associated with a mean hospital stay that was .11 days longer for patients undergoing primary TKR and .06 days longer for patients undergoing revision TKR. The data was the same for patients with and without comorbidities.

"The higher costs associated with obesity are believed to be largely due to managing comorbid medical conditions linked to obesity, such as diabetes," said lead study author Hilal Maradit-Kremers, MD, an associate professor of epidemiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. And yet in this study, "even in the absence of comorbidities, patients with obesity had longer stays and higher hospital costs."

"The bottom line is that obesity is increasingly common among patients undergoing joint replacement, which creates a myriad of technical and medical challenges, and likely contributes to the financial burden of the surgery," said senior author David G. Lewallen, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon, also from Mayo Clinic.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hilal Maradit Kremers, Sue L. Visscher, Walter K. Kremers, James M. Naessens, David G. Lewallen. The Effect of Obesity on Direct Medical Costs in Total Knee Arthroplasty. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American), 2014; 96 (9): 718 DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.M.00819

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Obesity associated with longer hospital stays, higher costs in total knee replacement patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514153305.htm>.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2014, May 14). Obesity associated with longer hospital stays, higher costs in total knee replacement patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514153305.htm
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Obesity associated with longer hospital stays, higher costs in total knee replacement patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514153305.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

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