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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Croatian Medical Journal.

Volume 54, Issue 4, August 2013, Pages 355-361.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.3325/cmj.2013.54.355. Copyright © ICMJE


AIM: To investigate whether patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) undergoing total hip or knee replacement have an increased risk for pulmonary embolism (PE).

METHODS: We studied patients undergoing total hip or total knee replacement from January 2001 to April 2006. The diagnosis of PE was based on a positive finding with a chest CT or a lung scan. Components of MetS were defined as 1) BMI≥30 kg/m(2) , 2) non-fasting preadmission glucose ≥11.1 mmol/L or diagnosis of diabetes, 3) hypertension, and 4) dyslipidemia. MetS was diagnosed if at least three of these components were present.

RESULTS: Of 7282 patients, 107 (1.47%) were diagnosed with PE. The incidence of PE in patients with 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 MetS components was respectively 0.85% (16/1888; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.5%-1.4%), 1.24% (31/2500; 95% CI 0.9%-1.8%), 1.76% (34/1936; 95% CI 1.2%-2.5%), 2.64% (21/796; 95% CI 1.7%-4.1%), and 3.09% (5/162; 95% CI 1.1%-7.4%). The independent risk factors for PE were age ≥70, knee as opposite to hip replacement, bilateral knee surgery, congestive heart failure, and MetS or the number of MetS components. The odds of PE independently increased 1.6 times (95% CI 1.01-2.56; P=0.043) for patients with MetS and 1.23 times (95% CI 1.02-1.48; P=0.028) per each additional MetS component.

CONCLUSION: Patients with MetS are at increased risk for PE after total joint arthroplasty. The increasing number of MetS components significantly increased the incidence of PE.

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