Removing ovaries linked to chronic kidney disease

New York: Premenopausal women with no genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer should not remove their ovaries as it can increase their risk of developing chronic kidney disease, a study has claimed.

Ovaries produce the reproductive female hormones oestrogen and previous animal studies have shown that the female hormone oestrogen protectively affects the kidneys.

The study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in the US showed that women who had their ovaries removed had a 6.6 per cent higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease, compared to those who did not.

The risk of kidney failure was even higher for women younger than 46. Those who had their ovaries removed before 46 had a 7.5 per cent increased risk of chronic kidney disease.

“For women who do not have an increased genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer, we recommend against the removal of the ovaries as a preventive option due to the increased risk of diseases, including chronic kidney disease and the increased risk of death,” said Walter Rocca, neurologist and epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic in the US.

If an individual’s kidney becomes severely damaged and starts to fail, treatment options are limited to dialysis and a kidney transplant.

These results highlight the need for physicians to discuss the potential increased risk for chronic kidney disease with women considering having their ovaries removed, Rocca said, in the paper published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

“This is the first study that has shown an important link between oestrogen deprivation in younger women and kidney damage. Women who have their ovaries surgically removed have an increased long-term risk of chronic kidney disease,” Rocca noted.

In the study, the team compared 1,653 premenopausal women, who had their ovaries surgically removed before the age of 50 to an equal number of women of similar ages who did not have their ovaries removed.

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