Projected Prevalence of Obesity in Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty: How Big Will the Problem Get?

J Arthroplasty. 2022 May;37(5):874-879. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2022.01.087. Epub 2022 Feb 4.


Background: Obesity is associated with higher rates of adverse outcomes following primary total hip arthroplasty (THA). The purpose of this study is to utilize 3 national databases to develop projections of obesity within the general population and primary THA patients in the United States through 2029.

Methods: Data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were queried for years 1999-2019. Current Procedural Terminology code 27130 was used to identify primary THA patients in NSQIP. Individuals were categorized according to body mass index (kg/m2) by year: normal weight (≤24.9); overweight (25.0-29.9); obese (30.0-39.9); and morbidly obese (≥40). Multinomial logistic regression was used to project categorical body mass index data for years 2020-2029.

Results: A total of 8,222,013 individuals were included (7,986,414 BRFSS, 235,599 NSQIP THA). From 2011 to 2019, the prevalence of normal weight and overweight individuals declined in the general population (BRFSS) and in primary THA. Prevalence of obese/morbidly obese individuals increased in the general population from 31% to 36% and in primary THA from 42% to 49%. Projection models estimate that by 2029, 46% of the general population will be obese/morbidly obese and 55% of primary THA will be obese/morbidly obese.

Conclusion: By 2029, we estimate ≥55% of primary THA to be obese/morbidly obese. Increased resources dedicated to care pathways and research focused on improving outcomes in obese arthroplasty patients will be necessary as this population continues to grow.

Level of evidence: Level III, Retrospective Cohort Study.

Keywords: body mass index; complication; morbid obesity; obesity; projection; total hip arthroplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip* / adverse effects
  • Body Mass Index
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity, Morbid* / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid* / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Morbid* / surgery
  • Overweight / complications
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology