Is It Beneficial to a Woman’s Health to Remove Her Ovaries during a Hysterectomy?

logo1267406_md

In the past it has been common practice to remove both of a woman’s ovaries during a hysterectomy to eliminate the possibility of later ovarian cancer. Now researchers at St Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California results question this practice because although it does decrease ovarian and breast cancers it also increases the risk of death. In “Ovarian Conservation at the Time of Hysterectomy and Long Term Health Outcomes in the Nurses’ Health Study” published in the May 2009 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology researchers questioned the practice because ovarian cancer has a low risk of about 3% and is responsible for less than 1% of all deaths among women. In their study they focused on a set of 29,380 women who had been followed for years of which 13,035 had hysterectomies without their ovaries removed, and 16,345 had hysterectomies with their ovaries removed. They evaluated deaths and incident events from coronary heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, total cancers, hip fractures, pulmonary embolus, and death from all causes. Women were separated into pre and post menopausal groups at the time of hysterectomies and those who had estrogen replacvement therapy were identified.
After adjusting for multiple independent risk factors, the researchers found the following trends: Removal of both ovaries was associated with a markedly lower risk of ovarian. breast cancer and overall cancer. However, they also had a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. They also had a higher risk of death from coronary heart disease, lung cancer and all cancers. The researchers concluded that at least one in every 24 women having her ovaries removed will die prematurely from any cause as a result of the procedure.
The death rate for women who did not have their ovaries removed was very low: 34 deaths out of 13,305 or 0.26%
More information can be found in the original article.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.