“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women, and women see primarily gynaecologists between 18 years and 64 years – a time when early screening for cardiovascular disease would be important,” says lead author and Mayo Clinic OB-GYN Shannon Laughlin-Tommaso, M.D., “We wanted to do this study to find a gynaecologic screening method for cardiovascular disease.”
The researchers used the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a medical records linkage system to study women who underwent hysterectomy with ovarian conservation in Olmsted County, Minnesota, between 1965 and 2002. They compared the cardiovascular risk factors and diseases of these women with randomly selected control women of the same age who had not undergone a hysterectomy.
They found that the odds ratio for hyperlipidaemia, obesity and metabolic syndrome was slightly higher in the 3,816 women who underwent hysterectomy as compared to the 3,816 women in the control group. The primary risk factor associated with hysterectomy was obesity as it contributes to the key reasons for hysterectomy including fibroids and uterine prolapse. The experts feel that treating obesity could not only improve cardiovascular health but could also reduce the need for hysterectomy.
In addition, the study showed that stroke was more common among women who underwent hysterectomy before age 35 as compared to those who did not. Hypertension was also found to be more frequent among women who underwent hysterectomy. It should be noted that women who underwent hysterectomy over age 50 did not show any significant increase in risk factors and were less likely to have had a stroke or congestive heart failure, compared with control women of the same age.
Source: Mayo Clinic
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