Hip, knee surgery risk for heart

Hip, knee surgery risk for heart

NEW YORK - Reuters
Older patients who have a hip or knee replaced face an increased risk of heart attack in the two weeks after the procedure, according to an international study.

Researchers, whose findings appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine, said that people having joint surgery had up to 31 times the risk of a heart attack shortly afterward.

“The risk of acute myocardial infarction is substantially increased in the first 2 weeks after total hip replacement (25-fold) and total knee replacement surgery (31-fold) compared with controls,” wrote Arief Lalmohamed from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who led the study.

The link between joint surgeries and heart problems was especially high for patients aged 80 or older, they found.

But those under the age of 60 weren’t at any higher risk.

“Surgery is a risk, because surgery and anesthesia that you need to have the surgery increase stress levels for patients,” said William Hozack, an orthopedic surgeon at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, who wasn’t involved in the study.