Osteoarthritis (OA) patients who opt for hip or knee replacement surgery can reap the benefits of cardiovascular health improvement, according to a study by Canadian researchers. The University of Toronto team presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, listing a number of other benefits alongside reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes, Arthritis Research UK reported this week.
The report was based on a review of medical data and outcomes for some 2,200 OA patients. They were aged 55 or above and had been diagnosed with hip and knee OA between 1996 and 1998. Approximately half of these patients had undergone joint replacement surgery.
When the information was analysed the researchers found that patients receiving a new hip or knee joint were over 40% less likely to experience a serious cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, stroke, emergent coronary revascularisation or death attributable to any of these. In addition, joint replacement improved long-term survival prospects for OA patients, reduced their pain and increased their mobility.
One possible explanation for the cardiovascular benefits is the improved ability of patients to engage in moderate physical activity after their joint replacement operation. Dr Bheeshma Ravi, lead author of the report, summarised the findings by pointing out that hip or knee replacement delivered direct benefits for OA patients with regard to hypertension, obesity and diabetes. These are all risk factors for cardiovascular health and all of them are also commonly found among people suffering from OA, Ravi added.