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MMWR CDC Surveill Summ. 1997 Aug 8;46(4):1-15.

Hysterectomy surveillance--United States, 1980-1993.

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  • 1Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



In the United States, approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year, and the procedure is the second most frequently performed major surgical procedure among reproductive-aged women.




This surveillance system uses data obtained from CDC's National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) to describe the epidemiology of hysterectomy. The NHDS is an annual probability sample of discharges from non-Federal, short-stay hospitals in the United States.


In the United States during 1980-1993, an estimated 8.6 million women aged > or =15 years had a hysterectomy. The overall rate of hysterectomy declined slightly from 1980 (7.1 hysterectomies per 1,000 women) to 1987 (6.6 per 1,000 women). The redesign of the NHDS in 1988 resulted in a decrease in estimated rates (i.e., the average annual rate for 1988-1993 was 5.5 per 1,000 women). Rates differed by age, with women aged 40-44 years most likely to have this procedure. Overall annual rates of hysterectomy did not differ significantly by race. The diagnosis most often associated with hysterectomy was uterine leiomyoma; during 1988-1993, this diagnosis accounted for 62% of hysterectomies among black women, 29% among white women, and 45% among women of other races. During 1988-1993, the percentage of hysterectomies performed by the vaginal route increased significantly; furthermore, an increasingly higher percentage of vaginal hysterectomies were accompanied by bilateral oophorectomy. From 1991 through 1993, laparoscopy was associated more frequently with vaginal hysterectomy than in previous years.


The rate of hysterectomy decreased slightly during the first half of the 14-year surveillance period, then leveled off during the second half. The increase in simultaneous coding of laparoscopy and vaginal hysterectomy on hospital discharge forms probably reflected the growing use of laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy.


Continued surveillance for hysterectomy will enable changes in clinical practice (e.g., the use of LAVH) to be identified, and information derived from the surveillance system may assist in directing biomedical assessment priorities (e.g., to determine the reasons for race-specific differences in the prevalence of uterine leiomyoma).

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