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Heart attack risk from tonsils op

Friday June 3rd 2011

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have suggested that children who undergo tonsillectomy - surgical removal of the tonsils - before they turn 20 are at a 44% higher risk of suffering a premature heart attack.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, also showed that having an appendectomy - surgical removal of the appendix - at a young age raises the relative risk of a premature heart attack by a third.

As part of the study, researchers looked at the national health records of millions of Swedish residents for an average of 23.5 years.

Of those who took part in the study, more than 27,284 people had undergone tonsillectomy and 54,449 appendectomy before the age of 20.

During the study period, 89 of the appendectomy group and 47 of the tonsillectomy group experienced an acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

The risk of suffering a heart attack in the two groups was compared with that of randomly chosen "controls" who had not undergone tonsil or appendix operations.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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