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South Asians more prone to knee arthritis: Expert

Saturday September 10, 2011 07:42:57 PM, IANS

Panaji: Senior citizens in the Indian sub-continent suffer a 15 percent more severe attack of osteo-arthritis in their knee joints as compared to their counterpart Caucasians from Europe or northern America, a specialist orthopaedic surgeon said here Saturday.

Speaking to reporters while announcing the merger of Ahmedabad-based Shalby Hospitals with Goa's Vrundavan Hospital and Research Centre (VHRC), chairman and managing director of Shalby Hospitals, Vikram Shah, also said that the new post-merger entity -- Shalby Vrundavan Hospital -- would focus on knee replacement surgeries in the first phase.

"There is no scientific explanation for this, but south Asian elders suffer 15 percent more severe osteo-arthritis attacks in the knee joints than their Caucasian counterparts from Europe and north America," Shah said.

"Unlike us, Caucasians are more vulnerable to osteo-arthritis of the hip," Shah added.

Shah further said that the merger, where Shalby Hospitals picked up a 55 percent stake in VHRC, will help the tremendous potential of medical tourism in Goa, as thousands of foreign tourists flock to the state for their summer vacations annually.

"We are certainly looking at that market," said Shah, who has conducted over 22,000 knee replacement surgeries.

The Shalby Hospital is a 230-bed facility in Ahmedabad employing over 100 doctors and has several other medical establishments in other cities of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Kenya.

VHRC, located at Mapusa, 15 km north of here, is a 115-bed facility.




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