Objective: To delineate the health profile of hysterectomized women and to assess whether women who have undergone hysterectomy have a different health profile even before surgery.
Material and methods: The WHILA project covers all women (n = 10,766) aged 50-60, living in the Lund area and are based on questionnaires and personal interviews tied to laboratory examinations.
Results: 6917 women (64.2%) had complete questionnaires and laboratory tests, 800 were hysterectomized (11.6%). Logistic regression analysis revealed that hysterectomized women had more "dizziness" 1.40 (1.19-1.66), "nervous problems" 1.29 (1.07-1.56), "backache" 1.37 (1.16-1.62), "joint problems" 1.29 (1.09-1.52), "eye problem" 1.20 (1.02-1.42) and "headache" 1.17 (1.00-1.37). For both somatic (5.22 versus 4.49 mean value, p < 0.001) and psychological (4.19 versus 3.86 mean value, p = 0.002) symptoms, the number was higher in hysterectomized women. Logistic regression analysis revealed that among hysterectomized women university education was less common odds ratios 0.73 (95% confidence interval 0.58-0.91) as well as working full time 0.76 (0.62-0.93). A higher body weight at the age 25, 1.01 (1.001-1.02) as well as a weight gain of more than 5 kg during the last 5 years 1.27 (1.07-1.50), elevation of serum triglycerides 1.29 (1.16-1.44), high-density (HDL) 1.44 (1.14-1.80) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol 1.11 (1.02-1.21) as well as the bone density 1.08 (1.00-1.17). Hysterectomized women had a lower age at giving first birth (p < 0.001), shorter interval between menstrual periods (p < or = 0.001) and less frequent amenorrhic episodes (p < 0.05). The hysterectomized women used IUD to a lesser extent (p < 0.05) but used hormone therapy (HT) (p < 0.001) and utilized health care services (p < 0.001) more often.
Conclusions: Long after surgery, several somatic and psychological symptoms were still more common in hysterectomized women. A low frequency of amenorrhic episodes and lower age at giving first birth, concomitant with a higher body weight already at age 25 may imply that women who end up hysterectomized have a specific health profile long before as well as long after surgery.