Surgical menopause and nonvertebral fracture risk among older US women

Kimberly K. Vesco, Lynn M. Marshall, Heidi D. Nelson, Linda Humphrey, Joanne Rizzo, Kathryn L. Pedula, Jane A. Cauley, Kristine E. Ensrud, Marc C. Hochberg, Diana Antoniucci, Teresa A. Hillier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether older postmenopausal women with a history of bilateral oophorectomy before natural menopause (surgical menopause) have a higher risk of nonvertebral postmenopausal fracture than women with natural menopause. Methods: We used 21 years of prospectively collected incident fracture data from the ongoing Study of Osteoporotic Fractures, a cohort study of community-dwelling women without previous bilateral hip fracture who were 65 years or older at enrollment, to determine the risk of hip, wrist, and any nonvertebral fracture. χ2 and t tests were used to compare the two groups on important characteristics. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models stratified by baseline oral estrogen use status were used to estimate the risk of fracture. Results: Baseline characteristics differed significantly among the 6,616 women within the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures who underwent either surgical (1,157) or natural (5,459) menopause, including mean age at menopause (44.3 ± 7.4 vs 48.9 ± 4.9 y, P < 0.001) and current use of oral estrogen (30.2% vs 6.5%, P < 0.001). Fracture rates were not significantly increased for surgical versus natural menopause, even among women who had never used oral estrogen (hip fracture: hazard ratio [HR], 0.87; 95% CI, 0.63-1.21; wrist fracture: HR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.78-1.57; any nonvertebral fracture: HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.93-1.32). Conclusions: These data provide some reassurance that the long-term risk of nonvertebral fracture is not substantially increased for postmenopausal women who experienced premenopausal bilateral oophorectomy, compared with postmenopausal women with intact ovaries, even in the absence of postmenopausal estrogen therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Database search terms
  • Fracture
  • Menopause
  • Oophorectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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