Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
7 Million Americans Have Artificial Joints: Study
More than two percent of Americans, or seven million people,
have artificial hips or knees, a new study says.
Among people over age 50, five percent have a new knee and more
than two percent have a new hip, according to the findings
presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Academy of
Orthopaedic Surgeons, the
Each year in the U.S., people receive more than 600,000 knee
replacements and about 400,000 hip replacements. However, this is
the first study to examine how many Americans currently have joint
"They are remarkable numbers," study leader Dr. Daniel Berry, chairman of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic, told the AP.
The number of Americans with joint replacements is expected to
rise as the population ages. One reason for the increase is that
people have become less willing to put up with painful joints and
know that joint replacements can help them, Berry said.
The number of knee replacements among Americans ages 45 to 64
more than tripled over the last decade, and nearly half of hip
replacements now are in people younger than 65, according to
federal government data.
Joint replacement is not for "anybody who has pain in the
joint," Berry told the
AP. He explained that it won't help people who have
arthritis-related pain and stiffness but no joint damage.
People need to try exercise, medicines and weight loss before
they consider joint replacement, Dr. Joshua Jacobs, chairman of
orthopedic surgery at Rush University Medical Center and president
of the orthopedic surgery association, told the
Medicare Drug Plan Changes Withdrawn by White House
Proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program have
been withdrawn by the Obama administration after strong opposition
from patient groups.
The changes would have included removal of three classes of
drugs -- antidepressants, antipsychotics and immune
system-suppressing drugs used in transplant patients -- from a
special protected list that guarantees seniors access to a wide
number of important medications, the
It was estimated that the changes would save a total of $729
million by 2019. However, the proposal met heavy resistance from
patient groups such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness and
the National Kidney Foundation.
In a letter to Congress on Monday, Medicare administrator
Marilyn Tavenner said the White House will not proceed with the
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