Bilateral Oophorectomy May Up Risk for Developing Dementia

Bilateral oophorectomy associated with higher rate of dementia, but association not statistically significant

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Bilateral, but not unilateral, oophorectomy is associated with an increased rate of subsequent dementia, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in Menopause.

Cecilie S. Uldbjerg, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues used data from 24,851 female participants in the Danish Nurse Cohort to examine the association between oophorectomy and incident dementia.

The researchers observed a higher rate of dementia following bilateral oophorectomy (adjusted rate ratio, 1.18; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.89 to 1.56) and a lower rate following unilateral oophorectomy (adjusted rate ratio, 0.87; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.59 to 1.23) compared with nurses who retained their ovaries. When stratifying by age at oophorectomy, similar results were seen. Hysterectomy or hormone therapy did not significantly modify the effects.

"These results are consistent with findings of prior studies showing a link between oophorectomy and dementia. The statistical power of the study was limited, which may explain the lack of effect of age or hormone therapy use on this association," Stephanie Faubion, M.D., medical director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a statement. "Given the robust body of evidence suggesting potential long-term adverse effects associated with oophorectomy before the average age of menopause, risk-reducing oophorectomy should be limited to those women with an inherited high risk for cancer."

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