, Volume 21, Issue 3 Supplement, pp S54-S57
Date: 10 May 2014

Brief report: Gender and total knee/hip arthroplasty utilization rate in the VA system

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OBJECTIVE: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of disability and is more prevalent in women than men. Total joint arthroplasty is an effective treatment option for end-stage OA. We examined gender differences in utilization rates of total knee/hip arthroplasty in the Veterans Administration (VA) system.

METHODS: The sample consisted of all VA patients for fiscal year (FY) 1999, 50 years of age or older, with or without the diagnosis of OA in any joint. We calculated the odds of patients undergoing total knee/hip arthroplasty adjusting for age, comorbidities, and presence of OA. We included the hospital site as a random effects variable to adjust for clustering.

RESULTS: Of the 1,968,093 (2.3% women) VA patients in FY 1999 who were 50 years of age or older, 329,461 (2.9% women) patients carried a diagnosis of OA. For women, 2-year adjusted odds of undergoing total knee or hip arthroplasty were 0.97 (0.83 to 1.14) and 1.00 (0.79 to 1.27), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Among patients potentially at risk for the procedure, men and women in the VA system were equally likely to undergo knee/hip arthroplasty.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
This study was funded by grants from the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion of the VA Services Research and Development Office. Dr Ibrahim is a recipient of a career development award from the VA Health Services Research and Development Office and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Harold Amos Faculty Development Award. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not represent those of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The authors would also like to thank Kim Hansen for editorial input.