-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who had
their ovaries removed before menopause are at increased risk for
bone loss and cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.
Researchers looked at 222 healthy postmenopausal women in the
Los Angeles area. Among women who were more than 10 years past
menopause, the rate of bone mineral density loss was twice as high
in those who'd had their ovaries removed before menopause than in
those who still had their ovaries.
The women without ovaries also had more evidence of hardening of
the arteries, according to the study published Feb. 14 in the
Fertility and Sterility.
The researchers at the University of Southern California's Keck
School of Medicine noted that the bone-thinning disease
osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease are common conditions in
women as they grow older, particularly after menopause.
Decreasing levels of hormones affect the severity of both health
issues. While hormone levels gradually fall through menopause, they
can decline suddenly if a woman's ovaries are removed.
"Most women in the United States having a hysterectomy have their ovaries removed as well as their uterus, even those who do not have increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer," Dr. Rebecca Sokol, acting president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said in a society news release. "As we learn more about the protective effects the ovaries may exert on bone and cardiovascular health after menopause, this practice could be reconsidered."
Sokol said a physician's careful analysis of a woman's
individual risks for cancer, as well as for bone loss, heart
disease and stroke, could help her decide whether ovary removal is
the best course.
The NYU Langone Medical Center has more about
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