Higher Risk Heart Attack with Knee, Hip Replacements

August 1, 2012 – Reuters – According to a report from The Archives of Internal Medicine, knee and hip replacements are being linked to a higher risk of heart attack. The study is an international one and finds that just two weeks after having the procedure done, it increases the risk up to 31 times for older adults. 

Those over the age of 80 were at the highest risk of acute myocardial infarction. However, there didn’t appear to be any risk to those less than 60 years old. 

Although both procedures pose risk, it tends to be higher for those going through knee replacement surgery. Researchers caution that they have not been able to find a direct link, which leads them to believe that several factors may be at play. 

Stress levels in patients are increased when they go through surgery. Then there are anesthesia complications that can happen. However, researchers also indicate that the procedures themselves are likely to also play a role. 

For instance, clots can sometimes form in the bone marrow when bone is cut into. This is especially true for those who undergo hip replacement surgery. 

Not taken into account with the study were other risk factors that the patients may have had, like: 

  • obesity;
  • high cholesterol; and
  • blood pressure. 

They urge physicians to talk with their patients about their cardiovascular history. Discussing the potential risks prior to surgery is also important. 

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