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Approved Research

Skin barrier function and post-arthroplasty infection rates in older adults

Principal Investigator: Dr Katrina Abuabara
Approved Research ID: 77764
Approval date: June 17th 2022

Lay summary

The number of arthroplasties to relieve pain, restore function, and improve the patient's quality of life are steadily increasing. This increase has also led to an increase in the incidence and prevalence of prosthetic joint and surgical site infections. Post-arthroplasty infections can lead to death and are often associated with higher costs to both the hospital and the patient. There is limited evidence to suggest that atopic dermatitis, a disease of the skin barrier may be associated with prosthetic joint and surgical site infection. We propose to investigate this association in the UK biobank because atopic dermatitis is one of the most common inflammatory skin diseases worldwide, is increasing among older adults, is associated with carriage of the most common bacteria implicated in joint and surgical site infections. Impaired skin barrier function can be treated with safe, low-cost topical emollients and could lead to a decrease in infection rates, lowering the morbidity and mortality and economic cost for patients.