New studies show that patients who receive total knee replacements are 8 times more likely to experience a heart attack within the 30-day post operative recovery period.  Those receiving a total hip replacement are 4 times more likley to suffer a heart attack within this time.  Physicians say, however, that this statistic should not discourage patients who need the surgery and that the risk of heart attack does not remain elevated over the long-term.  Yet while heart attack risk may reduce over time following the surgery, the risk of blood clots in veins and lungs also increases following surgery and does not go away for years.  The studies consisted of comparing patients who received joint replacements and people of the same age who did not receive replacements to see the difference in risk and incidents of heart attacks.

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