Hysterectomy Rates in the United States 19901997

Farquhar, Cynthia M. MD, FRANZCOG; Steiner, Claudia A. MD, MPH

Original Research

OBJECTIVE: To assess hysterectomy rates, type of hysterectomy, and other factors associated within the United States from 1990–1997.

METHODS: A descriptive statistical analysis of national discharge data was undertaken. Data from the nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (from which national estimates are generated based on a 20% stratified sample of US community hospitals) were used for the years 1990–1997. All women who underwent hysterectomy were identified using International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification, procedure codes. Outcome measures included rate, type of hysterectomy, age of patients, length of stay, total hospital charges, and diagnostic categories.

RESULTS: Rates of hysterectomy have not changed significantly over the years from 1990–1997. Rates for hysterectomy in 1990 were 5.5 per 1000 women and increased slightly by 1997 to 5.6 per 1000 women. The type of hysterectomy has changed, with laparoscopic hysterectomy accounting for 9.9% of cases by 1997, with a concomitant decline in abdominal hysterectomy but no substantial change in vaginal hysterectomy rates. Length of stay decreased and total charges increased for all types of hysterectomy. Vaginal hysterectomy and laparoscopic hysterectomy are associated with shorter length of stay than abdominal hysterectomy. Abdominal hysterectomy is the most common procedure (63.0% in 1997).

CONCLUSION: The majority of hysterectomies are abdominal, and the most common indication is uterine fibroids. The introduction of alternative techniques for controlling abnormal uterine bleeding such as endometrial ablation has not had an impact on hysterectomy rates, and there has only been a limited uptake of laparoscopic approaches.

Rates for hysterectomy have not changed for the years 1990–1997, and the majority of cases are by the abdominal approach.

Centers for Practice and Technology Assessment, and Organization and Delivery Studies, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Mary‐land.

Address reprint requests to: Cynthia M. Farquhar, MD, FRANZCOG, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National Women's Hospital, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; E‐mail: c.farquhar@auckland.ac.nz.

This work was supported by The Commonwealth Fund of New York, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the Commonwealth Fund of New York, its directors, officers, or staff.

Received May 10, 2001. Received in revised form October 11, 2001. Accepted October 25, 2001.

© 2002 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists