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The causes and consequences of hysterectomy


****Amended to reflect additional research question and amendment to RQ4****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 (with/without 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 four phases: 1) a review of the trends in incidence and prevalence of hysterectomy and oophorectomy in Australia over the past 15 years; 2) an exploration of the social, lifestyle and reproductive characteristics of women with a hysterectomy (with/without bilateral oophorectomy); 3) an analysis of whether there is an association between having a hysterectomy (with/without bilateral oophorectomy) and health outcomes (depression, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, asthma) and mortality (all-cause and cardio-vascular); and 4) a comparison of the health symptom profiles experienced by women with a hysterectomy and women without a hysterectomy over the study period.