Knee and Hip Replacements May Be Bad for the Heart Boston-based researchers found that patients who had total knee or hip joint replacement surgery, known as arthroplasty, were at increased risk of heart attack in the early post-operative period. However, findings published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), indicate that long-term risk of heart attack did not persist, while the risk for venous blood clot in veins and lungs remained years after the procedure. Studies estimate that 1.8 million arthroplasty procedures are performed each year worldwide, and that number may increase as the population ages. ÛÏWhile evidence shows that joint replacement surgery improves pain, function, and quality of life for the osteoarthritis patient, the impact of cardiovascular health has not been confirmed,Û explains lead study author Yuqing Zhang, D.Sc., Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. The study included 13,849 patients who underwent total knee replacement surgery and 13,849 matched controls who did not have surgery. Patients were 50 years of age or older and diagnosed with knee or hip osteoarthritis between January 2000 and December 2012. Findings indicate that 306 patients in the arthroplasty group and 286 in the non-surgical group developed myocardial infarction during the follow-up period. Risk of heart attack was significantly higher during the first postoperative month in those who had knee replacement surgery compared to those in the non-surgical group, and gradually declined over time.