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Large thighs linked to failure of hip implants

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who display unhealthy levels on cholesterol tests may be more likely to be overweight, which can render standard hip implants useless, according to recent findings from the University of Iowa published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

"We have shown that morbidly obese patients' thighs are so large that they are actually pushing each other outward and forcing the implant out of its socket. The larger your legs are, the more force goes through the hip joint. It's a simple concept," said Jacob Elkins, a University of Iowa grad student and lead author of the study.

After studying nearly 150 survey participants - with body mass indexes ranging from a normal 20 to a morbidly obese 55 - the scientists concluded that the obese individuals were much more likely to have unstable hips. Elkins and his team recommend new surgeries and replacement implants be invented to keep heavier individuals' hips from dislocating.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high scores on cholesterol tests are related to overweight and obesity, but weight problems and risk of hip fractures can be reduced by regular physical activity.

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