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Third generation oral contraceptive use and cardiovascular risk factors

  • Angela Döring
    Affiliations
    GSF—Research, National Research Centre for Environment and Health, Institute of Epidemiology, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, Neuherberg 85764, Germany
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  • Margit Fröhlich
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine VI, Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
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  • Hannelore Löwel
    Affiliations
    GSF—Research, National Research Centre for Environment and Health, Institute of Epidemiology, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, Neuherberg 85764, Germany
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  • Wolfgang Koenig
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Present address: Medizinische Universitätsklinik, Abteilung Innere Medizin II, Robert-Kochstr. 8, 89081 Ulm, Germany. Tel.: +49-731-50024465; fax: +49-731-50033872.
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine II, University of Ulm Medical Centre, Ulm, Germany
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      Abstract

      Objective: To analyze the relationship between third generation oral contraceptive (OC) use and various cardiovascular risk factors—including markers of inflammation—in a population-based sample. Study population and methods: Data on OC use were obtained from women, aged 25–44 years participating in the MONICA Augsburg survey 1994–1995. Complete data were available from 841 women. Third generation OCs were defined as OCs containing desogestrel or gestodene, the remaining OC products were summarized in the group “other OC.” Results: Women taking third generation OCs had significantly higher C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, plasma viscosity, and HDL-cholesterol concentrations compared to the “other OC” group and non-users. In contrast, LDL-cholesterol was identical in the three groups. The analyses of interaction between smoking and OC use revealed that smoking women taking third generation pills had a less favourable pattern concerning inflammatory markers compared to women not on OC or using other products. Conclusion: Potentially harmful effects of OCs may arise from their positive association with the acute phase response. There is a close relationship with inflammatory markers in particular in women taking third generation OCs, which may, at least in part, contribute to the increased atherothrombotic risk, reported specifically in these women.

      Keywords

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