In a recent article, I wrote about hysterectomies being used as a medical procedure used to stop symptoms of different women's health problems. There has been controversy surrounding how often this procedure has been prescribed to female patients as their only solution to their female problems.
The WebMD article I used for my previous article also stated that sometimes doctors recommend hysterectomies because they are used to performing that procedure, instead of offering newer technology that doesn’t require partial or full removal of the uterus.
On December 24, 2010, the European Heart Journal Online addition released a large study that showed women under the age of 50 who have hysterectomies have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. According to the study, researcher Altman and his team found that a woman who underwent a hysterectomy before age 50 had a nearly 20 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to a similar woman who still had both her uterus and her ovaries. The researchers did not find the same relationships among women who were 50 and older when they had their hysterectomies. The researchers suggested that that higher risk of cardiovascular disease is related to hormonal changes that occur once the uterus and/or ovaries is removed. This study was conducted with 800,000 women over a 30-year period of time. Most women were followed for at least 10 years. The large number of participants in this study and the conclusions of the study combined indicate to me that these results definitely need to be considered when a women is presented with the option to have a hysterectomy, especially when it not medically urgent.
Overall, the risk for cardiovascular disease increases if the patient has both their ovaries and uterus removed. The surgery to remove the uterus is not what increases the risk; again, it is perhaps the changes in the woman's hormones that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
I think it is important to note that 50 percent of women will die from a cardiovascular-related problem.