Knee, Hip Replacement May Not Have Cardioprotective Effect After All

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Knee, Hip Replacement
Knee, Hip Replacement

(HealthDay News) — Patients who have total hip or knee replacement surgery face a greater risk for myocardial infarction (MI) during the first month following the procedure, according to research published online August 31 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Yuqing Zhang, DSc, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues collected data on 13,849 people over the age of 50 with osteoarthritis who had a total knee replacement. They compared these patients with a similar number of people who didn't have the procedure. They also collected data on 6,063 people over the age of 50 with osteoarthritis who had a total hip replacement and compared them with a similar number of people who didn't have one.

The risk of MI was more than eight times greater in the first 30 days after total knee replacement surgery compared to that seen in people who didn't have the procedure. The risk of MI was four times greater during the month following total hip replacement surgery. The odds of MI dissipated over time in these patients, the researchers found. However, the odds of venous thromboembolism increased in the month following surgery and lasted for years after knee or hip replacement was performed.

"Contrary to recently published findings, our study indicates that total joint replacement procedures do not provide an overall protective effect on the risk of heart attack," Zhang told HealthDay.

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