Mayo Clinic researchers show that hysterectomy with ovarian conservation is associated with a significantly increased risk of several cardiovascular diseases and metabolic conditions. The study findings were published in the journal Menopause .
Shannon Laughlin-Tommaso, MD, study author and Mayo Clinic OB-GYN said, "This is the best dating to date that shows women undergoing hysterectomy have a risk of long-term disease-even when both ovaries are conserved."
In addition, "While women are increasingly aware that their ovaries pose risks, this study suggests that they have hysterectomy alone, especially for women who undergo hysterectomy prior to age 35."
Women in this study were identified using the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a medical records database that includes the complete inpatient and outpatient records of all medical providers in Olmsted County, Minnesota.
The researchers identified 2,094 Olmsted County resident women who had a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation for benign disease between Jan. 1, 1980, and Dec. 31, 2002. The women were 18 years old or older on the date of their hysterectomy
Each woman was age-matched to a woman residing in the same county on the index date who had not had a hysterectomy or any ovarian removal . The study determined prior cardiovascular and metabolic conditions prior to surgery and looked only for new onset of disease after hysterectomy.
The study shows that women who had a hysterectomy without any ovary removal had a 14% increased risk in lipid abnormalities, at 13% increased risk of high blood pressure, an 18% increased risk of obesity and at 33% increased risk of coronary artery disease .
Furthermore, women under the age of 35 had a 4.6-fold increased risk of congestive heart failure and a 2.5-fold increased risk of coronary artery disease. Hysterectomy is the second most common gynecologic surgery.
"Hysterectomy is the gynecologic surgery, and most are for benign reasons, because most physicians believe that this surgery has minimal long-term risks ," said Dr. Laughlin-Tommaso. "With the results of this study, we encourage people to consider nonsurgical alternative therapies for fibroids, endometriosis and prolapse, which are leading causes of hysterectomy ."