A model developed by Dr. William H. Parker from the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues has demonstrated that women who have their ovaries removed before the age of 55 have 8.58% excess mortality by age 80 and those who have them removed before the age of 59 have 3.92% excess mortality.
Dr. Parker has said that gynaecologists who have been looking at removal of the ovaries have focused on ovarian cancer. Women are living longer and the major killer of women is heart disease which takes 25 times more female lives than ovarian cancer.
He also said that the ovaries continue to produce testosterone and androstenedione for 30 years after menopause and that these hormones are converted into oestrogen which continues the protection of the heart and bones
He also commented that the results do not apply to women at high risk of ovarian cancer.
For those women who are having a hysterectomy for such conditions as endometriosis the removal of the ovaries will probably remain a necessity.