Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No Link Found Between Heart Attack Risk And Low-Dose Estrogen Contraceptives

Date:
September 16, 1998
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Women taking low-dose estrogen oral contraceptives may not face an increased heart attack risk, say scientists in a study in the Sept. 15 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

DALLAS, Sept. 15 -- Women taking low-dose estrogen oral contraceptives may not face an increased heart attack risk, say scientists in a study in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Related Articles


"When it comes to heart attacks, the study indicates that this type of oral contraceptive is basically safe for healthy women," says Stephen Sidney, M.D., assistant director for clinical research at the division of research, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, Northern California, based in Oakland. The researchers also found no differences between women taking pills containing either of the two forms of the hormone progestin commonly used in current oral contraceptives.

There has been concern about the potential increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with taking "the pill" since oral contraceptives were introduced in the 1960s, says Sidney.

"Although several, but not all, of the early studies showed evidence of increased risk of heart attack, most recent studies have not found the same results," notes Sidney.

Furthermore, says Sidney, contraceptive formulations have changed over the years, and newer pills contain different amounts of estrogen and progestin than earlier versions. So whether the current generation of oral contraceptives -- which have less than half the estrogen of the older preparations -- would have similar effects on the risk of heart attack has been unknown.

In 1991 the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funded dual investigations at Kaiser Permanente and at the University of Washington at Seattle to determine the relationship between current oral contraceptives and risk of heart attack. The current analysis pooled the results of both research groups, studying 271 women between the ages of 18-44 who had heart attacks and 993 women of similar age who had not suffered a heart attack.

After the researchers adjusted for heart disease risk factors such as smoking, obesity and high blood levels of cholesterol -- thereby focusing only on the use of oral contraceptives -- women who took birth control pills were no more likely to be at risk for heart attack than women who had previously taken the pill or had never used oral contraceptives, says Sidney.

About 68 percent of the women who had heart attacks were smokers, while smokers made up only about 22 percent of those who did not have a heart attack. The mean body mass index -- a measure of a person's percent of body fat and an indication of obesity -- of the women who had heart attacks was above 30, compared to 25.5 in the women who did not have heart attacks. The National Center for Health Statistics defines overweight as a BMI of 25-29 and obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or greater.

Researchers concluded that the women who had heart attacks were also more likely to be smokers or obese or have other risk factors for heart disease, and that it was these risk factors, not the pill, that were responsible for their risk of heart attack.

Sidney's co-authors include: David S. Siscovick, M.D.; Diana B. Petitti, M.D.; Stephen M. Schwartz, Ph.D.; Charles P. Quesenberry, Ph.D.; Bruce M. Psaty, M.D., Ph.D.; Trivellore E. Raghunathan, Ph.D.; Joseph Keleghan, M.D.; and Thomas D. Koepsell, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "No Link Found Between Heart Attack Risk And Low-Dose Estrogen Contraceptives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980916073812.htm>.
American Heart Association. (1998, September 16). No Link Found Between Heart Attack Risk And Low-Dose Estrogen Contraceptives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980916073812.htm
American Heart Association. "No Link Found Between Heart Attack Risk And Low-Dose Estrogen Contraceptives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980916073812.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins