Background: The aims of the study were to describe the trends in Danish hysterectomy rates from 1988 to 1998 for operations done on benign indication.
Methods: Data from all women (n=67,096) undergoing hysterectomy from 1988 to 1998 were obtained from the Danish National Patient Register. Data on the female population distribution were obtained from the Danish National Population Register.
Results: During the last 11 years the incidence rate of hysterectomy performed for benign diseases has been stable. However, the rate of women treated surgically for benign diseases of the uterus has increased by 14%. During the study period the number of total abdominal hysterectomies has decreased by 38%, the number of subtotal abdominal hysterectomies has increased by 458%, the number of vaginal hysterectomies has increased by 107% and two new methods of surgical treatment for benign diseases of the uterus have been introduced. Abdominal hysterectomy still accounts for 80% of the total number of hysterectomies performed in Denmark in 1998. The age distribution for all hysterectomies has changed, from a maximum of 36-45 years in 1988 to 46-55 years in 1998. The age maximum for abdominal hysterectomy corresponds to that of all hysterectomies. For vaginal hysterectomy the age maximum is 56 years or older, while it is 36-45 years for laparoscopic hysterectomy.
Conclusions: The incidence rate of hysterectomy was stable during the study period and the age distribution for all hysterectomies has changed. The study showed a change in the choice of surgical methods, although no evidence supports this practice.