(HealthDay)—Short-term survival after elective total hip (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) has greatly improved since the early 1990s, even though comorbidities have increased, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Arief Lalmohamed, Pharm.D., from the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed mortality patterns among 71,812 Danish patients who underwent elective THR and 40,642 Danish patients who underwent elective TKR between 1989 and 2007.
After adjusting for age, sex, and comorbid diseases, the researchers found that 60-day mortality rates significantly improved from 2004 to 2007, compared with 1989 to 1991, for THR (relative risk, 0.40) and TKR (relative risk, 0.37). The trend was greater than that of the general population. The greatest reductions in mortality were for deaths due to myocardial infarction, venous thromboembolism, pneumonia, and stroke. Comorbidities increased with time but the length of hospital stays fell by about half.
"Mortality rates following elective THR and TKR have decreased substantially since the early 90s, despite operated patients having more comorbidity," Lalmohamed and colleagues conclude.
The Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences receives funding from the private-public funded Top Institute Pharma and the pharmaceutical industry.
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