Hysterectomy Increases Heart Disease Risk
Despite efforts to reduce heart disease risk after hysterectomy by removing the uterus but not the ovaries – an increasingly common technique – women are still at increased risk after surgery, a new study shows. Study results, which were recently published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), suggest women who undergo hysterectomy with ovary conservation before the age of 35 are at the highest risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
While several studies have indicated an increased risk for heart disease and other chronic health problems following hysterectomy and removal of the ovaries, research focusing on health problems after removal of the uterus only is limited.
This new study involved the nearly 22-year follow-up of more than 2,000 women who underwent hysterectomy with ovary conservation for benign conditions like heavy menstrual bleeding. Researchers determined the women in this study were at increased risk for hyperlipidemia (high concentration of fats in the blood), high blood pressure, obesity, heart rhythm disorders (cardiac arrhythmias), and coronary artery disease. In women who underwent hysterectomy at the age of 35 or younger, congestive heart failure risk was 4.6 times higher than normal and coronary artery disease risk was 2.5 times higher than normal.