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Ten-year risk of complication and mortality after total hip arthroplasty in morbidly obese patients: a population study

Tohidi M, Brogly SB, Lajkosz K, Harrison MM, Campbell AR, VanDenKerkhof E, Mann SM. Can J Surg. 2019; 62(6):017318. Epub 2019 Dec 1. DOI:

Background — The relationship between morbid obesity and long-term patient outcomes after primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) has been understudied. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between morbid obesity and 10-year complications (revision surgery, reoperation, dislocation) and mortality in patients undergoing primary THA.

Methods — We conducted a population-based cohort study of patients aged 45–74 years who underwent primary THA for osteoarthritis between 2002 and 2007 using Ontario administrative health care databases. Patients were followed for 10 years. We estimated risk ratios (RRs) of mortality, reoperation, revision and dislocation in patients with body mass index (BMI) greater than 45 kg/m2 (morbidly obese patients) compared with patients with a BMI of 45 kg/m2 or less (nonmorbidly obese patients).

Results — There were 22 251 patients in the study cohort, of whom 726 (3.3%) were morbidly obese. Morbid obesity was associated with higher 10-year risk of death (RR 1.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.18–1.62). Risks of revision (RR 1.43, 95% CI 0.96–2.13) and dislocation (RR 2.38, 95% CI 1.38–4.10) were higher in morbidly obese men than in nonmorbidly obese men; there were no associations between obesity and revision or dislocation in women. Risk of reoperation was higher in morbidly obese women than in nonmorbidly obese women (RR 1.59, 95% CI 1.05–2.40); there was no association between obesity and reoperation in men.

Conclusion — Morbidly obese patients undergoing primary THA are at higher risk of long-term mortality and complications. There were differences in complication risk by sex. The results of this study should inform perioperative counselling of patients considering THA.

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