Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy: Variations by History of Military Service and Birth Cohort


This article considers the prevalence of hysterectomy amongst postmenopausal women who have undertaken military service.


Introduction: Little is known about hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO), which are associated with both health risks and benefits, among women Veterans. Purpose of the Study: To compare the prevalence of hysterectomy with or without BSO, and early hysterectomy, between postmenopausal Veterans and non-Veterans. Design and Methods: We used baseline data from the Women’s Health Initiative Clinical Trial and Observational Study. Multinomial logistic regression models examined differences in the prevalence of hysterectomy (neither hysterectomy nor BSO, hysterectomy without BSO, and hysterectomy with BSO) between Veterans and non-Veterans. Generalized linear models were used to determine whether early hysterectomy (before age 40) differed between Veterans and non-Veterans. Analyses were stratified by birth cohort (<65, ≥65 years at enrollment). Results:The unadjusted prevalence of hysterectomy without BSO was similar among Veterans and non-Veterans in both birth cohorts (<65: 22% vs 21%; ≥65: 22% vs 21%). The unadjusted prevalence of hysterectomy with BSO was equivalent among Veterans and non-Veterans in the >65 cohort (21%), but higher among Veterans in the <65 cohort (22% vs 19%). In adjusted analyses, although no differences were observed in the >65 cohort, Veterans in the <65 cohort had higher odds of hysterectomy without BSO (odds ratio [OR] 1.18, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03, 1.36) and with BSO (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.10, 1.45), as well as elevated risk of early hysterectomy (relative risk 1.32, 95% CI 1.19, 1.47), compared with non-Veterans. Implications: Aging women Veterans may have higher prevalence of hysterectomy and BSO than non-Veterans. This information contributes to understanding the health needs and risks of women Veterans and can inform clinical practice and policy for this population.

Full Reference

Callegari, L., Gray, K., Zephyrin, L., Harrington, L., Gerber, M., Cochrane, B., Weitlauf, J., Bean-Mayberry, B., Bastian, L., Mattocks, K., Haskell, S., Katon, J.. 2016. Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy: Variations by History of Military Service and Birth Cohort. The Gerontologist, 56:1, S67-S77