Hip and knee replacements linked to increased risk of heart attack

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Elderly patients who have just undergone hip or knee replacement surgery have a higher chance of getting a heart attack according to a new study by Arief Lalmohamed of the Utrecht University.

Although theoretically, the chance of getting a heart attack is increased 31 times, not more than 1 in 200 post surgery patients actually do get a heart attack in reality.

The causal link between the two is not yet fully understood however researchers feel that it is reasonable to believe that the surgeries play some role in increasing the risk.

“I’m not surprised that compared to someone who had not had surgery, there might be some increased risk,” said Dr. William Hozack, an orthopedic surgeon at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, who wasn’t involved in the new study.

“Surgery is a risk, because of the anesthesia that you receive leads to increased stress levels for patients,” he told Reuters Health.

The findings are based on 95,000 hospital records of those who had received such surgeries in Denmark between 1998 and 2007.

Based on those archives, one in 200 patients who received a hip replacement and one in 500 who received a knee replacement had a heart attack.

Have you recently undergone such a surgery yourself? Worry not. The risk for heart attack after such operations only increases substantially after the age of 80.

Also keep in mind that the study did not account for a number of other possible contributory factors such as obesity, high blood pressure or any additional medication the patient might be taking.

The findings were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Source: Reuters

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Michael is founder and managing editor of Utrecht Central. He graduated in Communications and Media at the Hogeschool Utrecht in the summer of 2012. He specializes in Web Development, Content Management and Online Marketing. Interested in co-operation? We are open to all kinds of suggestions. Contact us!

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