Hysterectomy With and Without Oophorectomy, Tubal Ligation, and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in the Nurses' Health Study II

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2023 Jul;32(7):747-756. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2022.0207. Epub 2023 May 8.


Background: Hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and tubal ligation are common surgical procedures. The literature regarding cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk after these surgeries has focused on oophorectomy with limited research on hysterectomy or tubal ligation. Materials and Methods: Participants in the Nurses' Health Study II (n = 116,429) were followed from 1989 to 2017. Self-reported gynecologic surgery was categorized as follows: no surgery, hysterectomy alone, hysterectomy with unilateral oophorectomy, and hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy. We separately investigated tubal ligation alone. The primary outcome was CVD based on medical-record confirmed fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction, fatal coronary heart disease, or fatal and nonfatal stroke. Our secondary outcome expanded CVD to include coronary revascularization (coronary artery bypass graft surgery, angioplasty, stent placement). Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and were adjusted a priori for confounding factors. We investigated differences by age at surgery (≤50, >50) and menopausal hormone therapy usage. Results: At baseline, participants were on average, 34 years old. During 2,899,787 person-years, we observed 1,864 cases of CVD. Hysterectomy in combination with any oophorectomy was associated with a greater risk of CVD in multivariable-adjusted models (HR hysterectomy with unilateral oophorectomy:1.40 [95% CI: 1.08-1.82]; HR hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy:1.27 [1.07-1.51]). Hysterectomy alone, hysterectomy with oophorectomy, and tubal ligation were also associated with an increased risk of combined CVD and coronary revascularization (HR hysterectomy alone: 1.19 [95% CI: 1.02-1.39]; HR hysterectomy with unilateral oophorectomy: 1.29 [1.01-1.64]; HR hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy: 1.22 [1.04-1.43]; HR tubal ligation: 1.16 [1.06-1.28]). The association between hysterectomy/oophorectomy and CVD and coronary revascularization risk varied by age at gynecologic surgery, with the strongest association among women who had surgery before age 50 years. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that hysterectomy, alone or in combination with oophorectomy, as well as tubal ligation, may be associated with an increased risk of CVD and coronary revascularization. These findings extend previous research finding that oophorectomy is associated with CVD.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; hysterectomy; oophorectomy; tubal ligation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects
  • Hysterectomy / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses*
  • Ovariectomy / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Sterilization, Tubal* / adverse effects
  • Sterilization, Tubal* / methods