Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Low-dose oral contraceptives may increase risk for heart attack or stroke

08.07.2005


Further significance for those women taking low-dose oral contraceptives who already are at increased risk for such events because of polycystic ovary syndrome, or metabolic disorder



Women using low-dose oral contraceptives are at an increased risk for a heart attack or stroke while taking the pill – however the risk disappears after discontinuation, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study published in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The findings could have further significance for those women taking low-dose oral contraceptives who already are at increased risk for such events because of polycystic ovary syndrome, or metabolic disorder, according to John Nestler, M.D., professor and chair of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the VCU School of Medicine.


In the study, researchers reported that the overall estimated risk of cardiovascular events – both heart attack and stroke -- among current low-dose oral contraceptive users was doubled compared to non-users.

The findings are based on a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed literature. The researchers examined several separate-but-similar experiments that were designed to assess the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with the current use of low-dose oral contraceptives in the population-at-large. The analysis included studies published between January 1980 and October 2002.

"The study suggests that women in general are at an increased risk of having a cardiovascular event while taking even these third-generation, low-dose, birth control pills," said Nestler.

"Prolonged exposure to low-dose oral contraceptives in a population at higher risk may significantly increase the incidence of cardiovascular outcomes and prompt consideration of alternative therapeutic or contraceptive interventions," he wrote.

"A number of women with metabolic syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome already are at increased risk for heart attack, and a majority of women with PCOS are treated with low-dose oral contraceptives for a prolonged period of time," he said. "An insulin-sensitizing drug might confer better general health benefits than the oral contraceptive."

"For example, insulin-sensitizing drugs have been shown to decrease progression to Type 2 diabetes, and there is evidence suggesting that they also may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and have beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors," he said.

PCOS is a condition that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, hormones, insulin production, heart, blood vessels and appearance.

"Despite the doubling of risk associated with the pill, the absolute risk for a cardiovascular event in an individual woman taking the pill is low … Women using the pill are not going to automatically have a heart attack," said Nestler. "However, our findings do raise the issue of whether oral contraceptives are optimal therapy for certain groups of women who are at baseline risk or who are taking the pill for a longer time, such as women with PCOS."

According to Nestler, previous epidemiological studies have shown an increased risk of cardiovascular events associated with oral contraceptives in women with hypertension, migraines, or who smoke.

Nestler collaborated with Jean-Patrice Baillargeon, M.D., from the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada, and Paulina A. Essah, M.D., of VCU’s Division of General Internal Medicine. The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the Fond de Recherche en Santé du Québec.

Malorie Janis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vcu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>