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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2007 Sep;134(1):57-66. Epub 2007 Feb 21.

Use of oral contraceptives in Germany: prevalence, determinants and use-associated health correlates. Results of National Health Surveys from 1984 to 1999.

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RKI 22, Pharmacoepidemiology, Robert-Koch Institute, Seestr. 10, D-13353 Berlin, Germany.



To describe oral contraceptive (OC) use, its determinants and use-associated health correlates from 1984 to 1999 in Germany.


Cross-sectional comparison was performed for socioeconomic factors, personal lifestyle and use-associated health correlates between 1862 OC users and 2625 age-matched nonusers identified from five German National Health Surveys. Regression models were used to obtain the determinants of OC use.


While in women aged 25-49 years OC use remained nearly constant in the western part of Germany from 1984 to 1999 (17.3-20.1%), it declined greatly in the eastern part from 43.0% in 1991 to 32.3% in 1999. Cross-sectional comparison and regression analysis suggested that OC users did not differ from nonusers in most selected personal and socioeconomic factors. OC users showed generally a better health profile than age-matched nonusers with more satisfaction with health, higher quality of life and no significant difference in history of cardiovascular diseases despite slightly higher prevalence of hypertension and hyperlipidemia that are of little clinical significance.


OC use seems to be generally safe. Whether the better health profiles found in OC users are the results of OC use or effects of healthy users, or both, should be further studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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