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The causes and consequences of hysterectomy


Around 27,000 hysterectomies (17,500 with ovarian conservation and 9,500 with ovaries removed) were performed in Australia in 2009-2010. Prevalence of hysterectomy in the ALSWH is around 30% in the mid-age cohort and 40% in the older age cohort; approximately 13% of both cohorts have had both ovaries removed. Due to hormonal changes, women who have had a hysterectomy and/or bilateral oophorectomy may experience a range of health symptoms throughout mid-life that vary from women who have had a natural menopause; these in turn may have an impact on morbidity and mortality. Understanding the nature of these differences is important to inform health services planning. The aim of this project is to explore the causes and consequences of hysterectomy/oophorectomy for Australian women. This will achieved in three phases: 1) a review of the trends in incidence and prevalence of hysterectomy and oophorectomy in Australia over the past 15 years; 2) an analysis of whether there is an association between having a hysterectomy/oophorectomy and health outcomes (depression, health-related quality of life and diabetes) and mortality (all-cause and cardio-vascular); and 3) a comparison of the health symptom profiles experienced by women with a hysterectomy/oophorectomy and naturally menopausal women.