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Knee, Hip Replacement Ups Heart Attack Risk

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Nicholas Wills5 years ago

A study, based on data collected from over 95,000 adults from Denmark, indicates that patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery are at an increased risk of having a heart attack 2-6 weeks after surgery.

About the Study

According to HealthDay News, the study was led by Arief Lalmohamed, a PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He and his colleagues reviewed data collected from 95,227 Danes who have undergone THR (total hip replacement) or TKR (total knee replacement) surgery from 1/1/1998-12/31/2007, and used data from patients 18 years old and up.

The researchers set up a control group to compare those who had THR or TKR with those who did not. The Los Angeles Times reported that patients who had THR were 31 times more likely to have a heart attack within the first two weeks after surgery, and patients who underwent TKR were 25 times more likely. However, as the risk of heart attack remained elevated up to six weeks after surgery for those patients who underwent THR, that risk tapered off within two weeks for those patients who had TKR.

According to Brenda Goodman of WebMD, the researchers adjusted their data to take into account other factors such as age, sex, socioeconomic status and use of other medications (that increase the risk of heart attacks), to confirm that there was a definitive link between THR/TKR surgery and an increased risk of heart attacks. Furthermore, previous studies indicate that surgery of any kind raises the risk of a heart attack, noted Arthur W. Wallace, MD, PhD.

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