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Eligibility criteria unfairly limit minorities' access to hip and knee replacement surgeries

In a study of medical records pulled from a national database, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have found that underrepresented populations are less likely than others to be eligible for hip or knee replacement surgeries because they do not meet certain rigid—and in their opinion unfairly applied—hospital requirements for surgery, such as weight, blood sugar and tobacco use limits. Such cutoffs, say the researchers, designed to lower costs and in some cases complications, deny minority and lower income groups access to treatments that would improve their quality of life.

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