March 22, 2005

Hysterectomy Raises Cardiovascular Disease Risk

A study released by the American Heart Association to be published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association reports that women who’ve had hysterectomies have more cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors – making them more prone to heart disease and stroke than women who have not had their uterus removed.

This is sobering news for women who are considering a hysterectomy for non-life threatening reasons such as fibroids.

In a study of nearly 90,000 women, researchers confirmed that women who had undergone a hysterectomy had a 26 percent higher risk of a cardiovascular event compared to women who had not undergone hysterectomy. CVD events in this study were defined as having coronary death, heart attack, stroke or coronary revascularization procedures.

What seemed clear though is that women who have hysterectomies also already have higher risk factors for CVD. These risk factors include a higher incidence of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and family history of heart disease.

The most important thing to take away from this, I think, is that if you can keep your uterus, you should. It's unknown at this time if uterine problems are perhaps caused by the same things that cause CVD or removing the uterus hastens CVD. What is clear is that women who have had their uterus removed have a 26% increase in the incidence of CVD - and those with oophorectomy have a 28% increase. So making your doctor aware of your hysterectomy is vitally important to your ovarall health.

Posted by Elizabeth M. on March 22, 2005 10:27 AM

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