Patients from minority ethnic groups appear to perceive knee and hip replacements as riskier than white patients do, a new study reported by Reuters suggests.
Canadian researchers surveyed more than 1,609 patients who were due to under knee surgery or a hip replacement at a single hospital in Toronto.
All of the patients had been given the same information about the potential risks associated with the procedures, but the researchers found that black and Asian men and women were generally more likely to think the procedures were risky than white patients.
The findings, which are published in the Journal of Rheumatology, may help to explain previous observations that black people are less likely to undergo joint replacement surgery if they are suffering from severe arthritis than white patients.
The researchers concluded: "Patient ethnicity is an important factor to consider in understanding a patient's perception of risk in joint replacement surgery."
Despite minority patients' greater reluctance to undergo surgery, the University of Toronto study shows that their operations are typically just as successful as those on white patients.
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