A new report has revealed that older hip implant and knee replacement patients face an increased heart attack risk following surgery. The risk for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was seen in the first 2 weeks after the surgical procedures.
Total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) are used to treat patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis. Some 1.8 million procedures are performed each year World-Wide.
The recent study which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated an increased risk of AMI during the first 2 weeks after THR and TKR compared with matched controls. The risk of AMI sharply decreased after this period, although it remains significantly elevated in the first 6 weeks for THR patients. The association was strongest in patients 80 years or older. The study could not detect a significantly increased risk in patients younger than 6 years.
In a commentary Dr Arthur Wallace of eth University of California explained that the time before, during and after surgery or particularly stressful to the patient. It is during these phases that Doctors should more deeply assess risk factors to reduce these risks. Specifically Dr Wallace said that Doctors should be looking at heart risks saying “ it is important for Doctors caring for patients in the perioperative period to recognise the potential for cardiac morbidity and mortality and then appropriately use medical therapies they have to reduce cardiac risk’’.