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Association of bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with all cause and cause specific mortality: population based cohort study


Objectives — To determine if bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, compared with ovarian conservation, is associated with all cause or cause specific death in women undergoing hysterectomy for non-malignant disease, and to determine how this association varies with age at surgery.

Design — Population based cohort study.

Setting — Ontario, Canada from 1 January 1996 to 31 December 2015, and follow-up to 31 December 2017.

Participants — 200 549 women (aged 30-70 years) undergoing non-malignant hysterectomy, stratified into premenopausal (<45 years), menopausal transition (45-49 years), early menopausal (50-54 years), and late menopausal (≥55 years) groups according to age at surgery; median follow-up was 12 years (interquartile range 7-17).

Exposures — Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy versus ovarian conservation.

Main Outcomes Measures — The primary outcome was all cause death. Secondary outcomes were non-cancer and cancer death. Within each age group, overlap propensity score weighted survival models were used to examine the association between bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and mortality outcomes, while adjusting for demographic characteristics, gynaecological conditions, and comorbidities. To account for comparisons in four age groups, P<0.0125 was considered statistically significant.

Results — Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy was performed in 19%, 41%, 69%, and 81% of women aged <45, 45-49, 50-54, and ≥55 years, respectively. The procedure was associated with increased rates of all cause death in women aged <45 years (hazard ratio 1.31, 95% confidence interval 1.18 to 1.45, P<0.001; number needed to harm 71 at 20 years) and 45-49 years (1.16, 1.04 to 1.30, P=0.007; 152 at 20 years), but not in women aged 50-54 years (0.83, 0.72 to 0.97, P=0.018) or ≥55 years (0.92, 0.82 to 1.03, P=0.16). Findings in women aged <50 years were driven largely by increased non-cancer death. In secondary analyses identifying a possible change in the association between bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and all cause death with advancing age at surgery, the hazard ratio gradually decreased during the menopausal transition and remained around 1 at all ages thereafter.

Conclusion — In this observational study, bilateral salpingooophorectomy at non-malignant hysterectomy appeared to be associated with increased all cause mortality in women aged <50 years, but not in those aged ≥50 years. While caution is warranted when considering bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in premenopausal women without indication, this strategy for ovarian cancer risk reduction does not appear to be detrimental to survival in postmenopausal women.



Cusimano MC, Chiu M, Ferguson SE, Moineddin R, Aktar S, Liu N, Baxter NN. BMJ. 2021; 375:e067528. Epub 2021 Dec 9.

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