Tonsils, appendix removal may boost heart risk

June 1, 2011

We've all heard that tonsils or the appendix are not considered vital to the body. But scientists have found that people who had them taken out before the age of 20 may be at a slightly greater risk of an early heart attack.

This new study in the European Heart Journal linked the role of the appendix and the tonsils in the body's immune system with the increased risk for heart disease.

They found that tonsillectomy increased the relative risk of a heart attack by 44 percent and appendectomy by 33 percent.

The risk was slightly higher for those who had both removed. Exactly why is not known.

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