By Imogen Robinson
Having a hysterectomy while conserving the ovaries increases the risk of coronary artery disease by 33%, new research has revealed.
Risk of other cardiovascular diseases and metabolic conditions, such as high blood pressure and obesity, is also greatly increased by up to 18% after hysterectomy with ovarian conservation.
This is the most comprehensive data to date showing that having your womb removed increases your risk of long-term disease, even when the ovaries are conserved.
Women have known for some time that removal of the ovaries can increase your health risks, but this study suggests that hysterectomy alone also poses a risk.
This risk is increased if a woman undergoes a hysterectomy before the age of 35, according to the study published in the journal Menopause.
The study was conducted by Mayo Clinic using the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a medical records database.
Researchers identified 2,094 women who had a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation for benign disease between 1980 and 2002.
All the women were aged 18 or above on date of their hysterectomy, and each woman was age-matched to a woman who had not had a hysterectomy or any ovarian removal.
The study determined cardiovascular and metabolic conditions prior to surgery and looked only for new onset of disease after the women had undergone their hysterectomy.
The results showed that women who had a hysterectomy without ovary removal had a 14% increase in lipid abnormalities and a 13% increased risk of high blood pressure.
On top of this, risk of obesity increased by 18%, and risk of coronary artery disease was increased by a third.
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.
Dr. Shannon Laughlin-Tommaso, study author, said: “Hysterectomy is the second most common gynaecologic surgery, and most are done for benign reasons, because most physicians believe that this surgery has minimal long-term risks.
“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.”