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N Engl J Med. 1988 Nov 17;319(20):1313-7.

A prospective study of past use of oral contraceptive agents and risk of cardiovascular diseases.

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Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.


We evaluated the effects of past use of oral contraceptive agents on the risk of various cardiovascular diseases among women in the Nurses' Health Study cohort. We studied 119,061 women who were 30 to 55 years of age in 1976, who provided information on their use of oral contraceptives, and who at entry had had no previous coronary disease or stroke. End points were documented by medical records. During eight years of follow-up (484,096 person-years among those who had never used oral contraceptives, 415,488 among past users, and 22,376 among current users), there were 485 new cases of major coronary disease (380 nonfatal myocardial infarctions and 105 deaths from coronary disease), 282 strokes (205 nonfatal and 77 fatal), and 48 other deaths from cardiovascular causes. We found no evidence to suggest an increase in the risk of cardiovascular diseases among past users of oral contraceptives, even with prolonged previous use. After adjustment for a variety of risk factors, the relative risk of major coronary disease for women who had used oral contraceptives in the past, as compared with those who had never used such agents, was 0.8 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.6 to 1.0); of stroke, 1.0 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.7 to 1.3); and of death from all cardiovascular causes, 0.9 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.7 to 1.2). We found neither evidence of increased risk with longer use nor any trend with the amount of time since the last use. According to these prospective data, the use of oral contraceptive agents in the past does not materially raise a woman's risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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