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Background Relatively little is known about the social distribution of total knee joint replacement (TKR) uptake in Australia. We examine associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and TKR performed for diagnosed osteoarthritis 2003–10 for all Australian males and females aged ≥30 yr. Methods Data of primary TKR (n = 213,018, 57.4% female) were ascertained from a comprehensive national joint replacement registry. Residential addresses were matched to Australian Census data to identify area-level social disadvantage, and categorised into deciles. Estimated TKR rates were calculated. Poisson regression was used to model the relative risk (RR) of age-adjusted TKR per 1,000py, stratified by sex and SES. Results A negative relationship was observed between TKR rates and SES deciles. Females had a greater rate of TKR than males. Surgery utilisation was greatest for all adults aged 70-79 yr. In that age group differences in estimated TKR per 1,000py between deciles were greater for 2010 than 2003 (females: 2010 RR 4.32 and 2003 RR 3.67; males: 2010 RR 2.04 and 2003 RR 1.78). Conclusions Identifying factors associated with TKR utilisation and SES may enhance resource planning and promote surgery utilisation for end-stage osteoarthritis.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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