Appendectomy, Tonsillectomy May Increase AMI Risk

Higher myocardial infarction risk in those who undergo appendectomy, tonsillectomy before age 20

FRIDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Youth who undergo appendectomy or tonsillectomy before age 20 may have an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) later in life, according to a study published online June 1 in the European Heart Journal.

Imre Janszky, M.D., Ph.D., from the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues assessed the association between childhood appendectomy and tonsillectomy and the risk of AMI in a nationwide study of Swedish residents born between 1955 and 1970. Each participant who underwent appendectomy or tonsillectomy before the age of 20 was matched with five controls. Participants were followed up for an average of 23.5 years, during which time the occurrence of fatal and non-fatal AMI was measured.

The investigators identified 417 and 216 AMI events in patients who underwent appendectomy and tonsillectomy, respectively. After adjusting for parental occupation and parental history of AMI, appendectomy and tonsillectomy were significantly associated with an increased risk of AMI (hazard ratio, 1.33 for appendectomy and 1.44 for tonsillectomy). The correlation was graded, with participants who underwent both surgeries having the highest risk of AMI. Surgery performed at age 20 or older was not correlated with AMI risk.

"In this prospective matched cohort study, we found an elevated risk for AMI related to the removal of tonsils and appendix before age 20," the authors write.

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