Researchers used medical records of 2,094 women who had had a hysterectomy without removal of the ovaries, matching them with the same number of women of the same age who had not had the operation. None of the surgeries were performed to treat cancer. They followed them for an average of 22 years.
Overall, a hysterectomy was associated with a 26 per cent increased relative risk for depression and a 22 per cent increased the risk for anxiety. Women under 35 who had a hysterectomy were at a 47 per cent increased risk for depression and a 45 per cent increased risk for anxiety. The reason for the operation — fibroids, menstrual disorders or uterine prolapse — did not affect the association.
The observational study, in the journal Menopause, controlled for dementia, substance use disorders, hypertension, coronary artery disease, arthritis, all types of cancer and more than a dozen other mental and physical conditions.
“Hysterectomy is right for some women,” said the lead author, Dr Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Mayo Clinic. “But there is this 4 to 6 per cent of women who will be affected by depression or anxiety. We’re hoping women will talk with their doctors and see if there’s any alternative they could use instead.”
Source: The New York Times