Heavy Young Adults at Risk for Future Hip Replacement

JULY 01, 2006
Susan Farley

A large data review from the Ul-leval University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, indicated that young people who are obese are likely to face hip replacement surgery later in life. National data on 1.2 million adults indicated that men and women who were obese before age 25 were at greater risk. Height and weight data from people who were screened for tuberculosis between 1963 and 1975 were compared with data from hip replacement surgeries performed between 1987 and 2003. People considered overweight or obese according to body mass index in their younger years were 2 to 3 times more likely to require surgery later on than people at a normal weight. This finding was especially true for people who had been obese longer; women who were obese before age 25 were nearly 3 times as likely to require surgery. The researchers reviewed data on hip replacements required as a result of osteoporosis and noted that it is possible that the hip-joint cartilage is more susceptible to damage earlier in life. The results of the present study were published in the March 2006 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.