If you’re overweight and need a knee replacement,
watch out… next Obesity linked to longer hospital stays and
higher costs. 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).
More than half of TKR patients have a body mass index 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. In a recent study published in the Journal
of Bone and Joint Surgery, lead study author Hilal Maradit-Kremers, MD, an associate professor
of epidemiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn said, “The higher costs associated with
obesity are believed to be largely due to managing comorbid medical conditions linked
to obesity, such as diabetes.” The conclusions:
• 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.
• 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. Comment: Obesity exacts another toll.