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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 2 | Pages 172 - 177
1 Feb 2011
Pedersen AB Baron JA Overgaard S Johnsen SP

We evaluated the short-term of 0 to 90 days and the longer term, up to 12.7 years, mortality for patients undergoing primary total hip replacement (THR) in Denmark in comparison to the general population. Through the Danish Hip Arthroplasty Registry we identified all primary THRs undertaken for osteoarthritis between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 2006. Each patient (n = 44 558) was matched at the time of surgery with three people from the general population (n = 133 674). We estimated mortality rates and mortality rate ratios with 95% confidence intervals for THR patients compared with the general population. There was a one-month period of increased mortality immediately after surgery among THR patients, but overall short-term mortality (0 to 90 days) was significantly lower (mortality rate ratio 0.8; 95% confidence interval 0.7 to 0.9). However, THR surgery was associated with increased short-term mortality in subjects under 60 years old, and among THR patients without comorbidity. Long-term mortality was lower among THR patients than in controls (mortality rate ratio 0.7; 95% confidence interval 0.7 to 0.7).

Overall, THR was associated with lower short- and long-term mortality among patients with osteoarthritis. Younger patients and patients without comorbidity before surgery may also experience increased mortality after THR surgery, although the absolute risk of death is small.