Holy Hormones Honey! BCP’s in the news again. A large Danish registry study found that the risks of thrombotic stroke or myocardial infarction (MI) roughly doubled in women taking oral contraceptives with low-to-moderate doses of ethinyl estradiol.
Arterial Events Rare but Higher with The Pill
By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: June 13, 2012
Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner
Use of oral contraceptives combining low-to-moderate doses of ethinyl estradiol and various progestins was associated with up to 2.3 times the risks of thrombotic stroke or MI compared with non-use, according to Øjvind Lidegaard, DrMedSci, of Copenhagen University Hospital, and colleagues.
The type of progestin in the pill had little effect on the risks, the researchers reported in the June 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
To put the risk in perspective, they estimated that among 10,000 women taking a pill combining desogestrel with ethinyl estradiol at a dose of 20 μg for 1 year, two will have arterial thrombosis and seven will have venous thrombosis.
“Although venous thrombosis is three to four times as frequent as arterial thrombosis among young women, the latter is associated with higher mortality and more serious consequences for the survivors,” they wrote. “Therefore, these figures should be taken into account when prescribing hormonal contraception.”