The latest study identifies that women who have undergone oophorectomy before the age of 45 years to minimize the cancer risk may be at greater risk of premature death because of cardiovascular disease. It identifies elevated risk for women with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease who proactively have their ovaries surgically removed.
The findings of the study are published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.
In the medical community, there has been an ongoing debate whether the oophorectomy performed before the age of 45 years, alters the exposure to endogenous ovarian hormone and effectively elevating the risk of heart disease in women. Multiple pieces of research have suggested that who have undergone bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, removal of the fallopian tubes along with both ovaries before the natural menopause has at greater risk of heart disease as compared to women of same age having intact ovaries.
In the United States, ovarian cancer accounts for almost 3 percent of cancers in women. According to the estimate of the American Cancer Society for ovarian cancer in 2020 about 21,750 women will have a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer and nearly 13,940 women will die due to ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is at the fifth number in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more mortalities than any other cancer of the woman’s reproductive system. A risk of getting ovarian cancer is about 1 in 78 during a lifetime.
For preventive purpose, women are going for premature removal of their ovaries which is highly risky as it is associated with multiple long-term adverse health effects.
In the recent study which is based on data from above 2,700 postmenopausal women, scientists specifically investigated the changing effects of family history of premature cardiovascular disease, before the age of 50 years with the association between the surgical removal of ovaries before the time of natural menopause and deaths due to heart disease. The study outcomes revealed that such family history surely increased the risk of mortalities due to myocardial infractions in women who have their ovaries removed before the age of 45 years.
These study findings have broad mainstream relevance as ovaries are the most frequently removed organ for prevention from cancer. Currently, more than half of women who are undergoing hysterectomy for a benign condition also undergo bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
This study emphasizes the importance of considering the potential risks before deciding to remove normal ovaries in women under the age of 45 years.
Study outcomes appear in the article “Family history of myocardial infarction modifies the associations between bilateral oophorectomy and cardiovascular disease mortality in a US national cohort of postmenopausal women.”
The medical director of North American Menopausal Society, Dr. Stephanie Faubion said this study gives additional evidence that surgical removal of normal ovaries before the natural time of menopause is linked with multiple long-term adverse health outcomes including heart disease and premature deaths and it should be strongly discouraged in women not having the genetic risk of ovarian cancer.