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Hysterectomy increases dementia risks, but women aren't told

"Investigation into how hysterectomy might modify other disease processes has been conducted using Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) data. These studies have linked hysterectomy to long-term health consequences including pelvic floor dysfunction and fracture risk, as well as dementia, depression, and Parkinson’s disease." (Stewart, Elizabeth A., et al, "Reassessing Hysterectomy," Minn Mid. 2012 Mar; 95(3):36-39.) Yet, hysterectomy is one of the most common operations performed in Australia and New Zealand. Every year in Australia, around 30,000 women have a hysterectomy. In fact, it is the second commonest major surgical operation after Caesarean section for women under the age of 60. This is despite the fact that other surgical and other treatments exist for many of the conditions for which hysterectomy remains an apparently unthinking and profitable default for surgeons. As well as the implications of both partial and complete removal of the uterus, general anaesthetics carry increasing risks of dementia with age. The use of hormone replacement therapy post hysterectomy has been shown to be an important protective factor against dementia.

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