(HealthDay News) – A hysterectomy in midlife with or without ovarian conservation is unlikely to accelerate women’s cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, according to a study published online May 22 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

To compare changes in CVD risk factors for women undergoing surgical vs. natural menopause, Karen A. Matthews, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues followed 3,302 premenopausal women (aged 42–52 years) not using hormone therapy who participated in the Study of Women’s Health across the Nation. Follow-up was performed annually for 11 years. Sociodemographic characteristics, menopausal status, surgeries, body mass index, medication use, lifestyle factors, lipids, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and hemostatic and inflammatory factors were assessed.

The researchers found that 1,769 women had reached natural menopause by 2008, while 77 women had undergone hysterectomy with ovarian conservation and 106 women had undergone hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy. With few exceptions, the annual changes in CVD risk factors did not vary by group in multivariate analyses. Furthermore, the group differences that emerged and were significant were not in the expected direction.

“Although women in midlife experienced significant increases in CVD risk, the women who had surgical menopause in their 40’s and 50’s were not at any greater risk for increases in CVD risk factors compared to women who had a natural menopause,” the authors write. “These results should provide reassurance to women and their clinicians that hysterectomy with or without ovarian conservation in midlife is not likely to substantially accelerate women’s CVD risk.”

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