-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women under the age of 45
who have their ovaries removed are more likely to be diagnosed with
arthritis and have lower bone mineral density, a predictor of
osteoporosis, a new study finds.
Researchers analyzed data on more nearly 7,700 women from NHANES
III, a nationally representative survey conducted between 1988 and
About 45 percent of women who had their ovaries removed were
diagnosed with arthritis, compared to 32 percent of women who did
not have their ovaries removed.
Women who had both ovaries removed before 45 and who never used
hormone replacement therapy had on average lower bone mineral
density than women with intact ovaries. Women without ovaries were
also twice as likely to have very low bone mineral density.
The study's authors concluded that women who have their ovaries
removed for cancer prevention should be closely monitored for
osteoporosis over the long term.
"Our study suggests that some women with oophorectomy [ovary removal], particularly at a young age, can experience clinically relevant decreases in bone mineral density. Clinicians need to be aware of this so they can intervene early if required," Anne Marie McCarthy, a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health McCarthy, said in a news release.
Researchers said their findings could have an impact on carriers
of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations since these women are often
encouraged to have their ovaries removed to reduce their risk of
cancer and improve their chances of long-term survival.
They also noted that their study shows an association between
ovary removal and arthritis/low bone density, but does not prove
The research was to be presented Thursday at the 2011 San
Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Because this study was presented
at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as
preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases provides more information on
breast cancer and bone health.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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