Health and Welbeing
As the Swedes struggle with a growing fat epidemic, more broken knees associated with heaviness
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
The Swedish people are getting too heavy for their knee joints. Today,
many 45 year olds use knee prosthesis due to being overweight or obese
according to news media data reports.
More than one in two men and one third of woman in Sweden are
overweight. It has long been known that the risk of heart disease,
diabetes and cancer was associated with over weight but now the
superfluous pounds provide a new health problem: Obesity rips so hard
on the knees that they must be replaced with knee prostheses in plastic
Medical authorities say that fifteen years ago such people were not part of their patients.
The problem comes as the body weight erode the cartilage around the
bones of the knee joint so that it is destroyed making every step to
shoot in a very sharp pain. It is called osteoarthritis and so far has
mostly affected the elderly. But now orthopaedic surgeons are having
more work dealing with the knee joints of as early as 45-year-olds.
Each year around 13 000 knee replacement operations takes place in
Sweden. That is a threefold increase since the early 1990's. The
increase occurs in all age groups. But new statistics, which the
Swedish Knee Arthroplasty Register has produced, shows that the
operation is growing fastest among 45 – 54 year olds. The number has
more than tenfold from 80 surgeries in 1990 to 880 operations in
“There is a clear trend. The same is done in Finland, UK, USA and
Australia, but we are some years behind them in the development, says
orthopaedists Tore Dalén, who is chairman of the Swedish hip and knee
Arthroplasty Register since 2009 collects data on the weight of those
who receive knee prostheses. It shows that eight out of ten that
undergo surgery are overweight or obese, meaning they have a body mass
index, BMI, of at least 25. For a woman or man who is 167 cm
corresponds to a weight of 70 kg and above.
“It is clear that more of our patients today are obese and that is
something we cover in our courses in surgery. We usually say that if
the average person goes about twenty kilos in weight, the number of
knee operations will halved in Sweden,” says Tore Dalén.
A new knee costs about Skr 90 000 and almost a third who undergo
surgery, replaces both knees with prostheses. Complications will mean
that doing it will cost 5 - 7 times more expensive. It is a great cost
to society, according to Tore Dalén.
But the way things look, and as the Swedes throw away their previously
hailed healthy living lifestyle to embracing the more
American-British fatty way of life, there is the need for the
authorities to prepare for an explosion in the future as more people
will be coming in for kneed replacement.
By Scancomark.se Team
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