Quality of Life Research

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 55–62 | Cite as

Hysterectomy status, estrogen use and quality of life in older women: The Rancho Bernardo study

  • Donna Kritz-Silverstein
  • Denise G. Von Muhlen
  • Theodore G. Ganiats
  • Elizabeth Barrett-Connor


Objective: To examine the long-term effects of hysterectomy and use of estrogen replacement therapy on health related quality of life and symptom subscales in community dwelling postmenopausal women. Methods: Information on menopausal history including hysterectomy and oophorectomy status, and history of estrogen use was obtained from a sample of 801 women aged 50–96 years at a clinic visit between 1992 and 1996. Within 1 week of the clinic visit, a standardized, validated quality of well-being (QWB) scale was administered over the telephone by a trained interviewer. Results: Among these women, 25.2% reported hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy an average of 28 years earlier, and 11.0% reported hysterectomy with ovarian conservation an average of 26.5 years earlier. Age-adjusted comparisons indicated that women with natural menopause had slightly higher total QWB scores and lower symptom subscale scores than women in either of the hysterectomy groups (p's = 0.06). However, after additional adjustment for estrogen use and other potentially confounding covariates, there was no significant difference in total QWB score or on any subscale scores by hysterectomy and oophorectomy status. After adjustment for age, women who never used estrogen had significantly higher total QWB scores (p = 0.03) and significantly lower symptom subscale scores, indicating fewer symptoms, than those who were past or current users (p = 0.01). These differences persisted after adjustment for age, type of menopause, and behavioral and lifestyle covariates (p's = 0.008). Conclusions: There are no long-term adverse effects of hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy on health related quality of life. Lower total QWB and greater symptom subscale scores by women currently using estrogen may reflect an adverse effect of hormone use on health related quality of life in older postmenopausal women.

Estrogen replacement therapy Hysterectomy Oophorectomy Quality of life 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna Kritz-Silverstein
    • 1
  • Denise G. Von Muhlen
    • 1
  • Theodore G. Ganiats
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Barrett-Connor
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family and Preventive MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Division of Family Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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