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Chronobiol Int. 1996 Aug;13(3):199-211.

Oral contraceptives alter circadian rhythm parameters of cortisol, melatonin, blood pressure, heart rate, skin blood flow, transepidermal water loss, and skin amino acids of healthy young women.

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1
Unité de Chronobiologie et Chronothérapie, Fondation A. de Rothschild, Paris, France.

Abstract

Sixteen healthy women users and nonusers of oral contraceptives (OC) volunteered to document a set of circadian rhythms. Nine were taking OC providing ethynyl estradiol (0.03-0.05 mg/24h, 21 days/month) combined with DL- or L-norgestrel or norethisterone. There was no group difference (p > 0.05) in median age (22 years), weight (57 kg), and height (162) cm). Data were obtained at fixed hours, 5 times/24h, during a 48-h span, in November. (Day activity from approximately 08:00 to approximately 23:00 h and night rest). Environmental conditions were controlled, using air-conditioned rooms of constant temperature (26 degrees +/- 0.5) and relative humidity 45% +/- 1. Both cosinor and ANOVA were used for statistical analyses. All circadian rhythms were validated with one exception: that of salivary melatonin was not detected in OC users. The 24h mean (M) exhibited group differences for certain variables: M was greater in OC than non-OC users for systolic blood pressure (p < 0.0001), heart rate (p < 0.01), skin blood flow (p < 0.04), and transepidermal water loss (p < 0.02). M was lower in OC than non-OC users in salivary cortisol (p < 0.04) and skin amino acids (p < 0.003). No group difference was detected in any other documented rhythms: diastolic blood pressure, grip strength of both hands, oral temperature, self-rated fatigue, and the skin variables of urea, lactate, triglycerides, and acid phosphatase activity.

PIP:

In November in France, researchers compared data on 8 healthy women using combined oral contraceptives (OCs) containing ethinyl estradiol (0.03-0.05 mg/24 h, 21 days/month) and DL-norgestrel, L-norgestrel , or norethisterone with data on 8 healthy women not using OCs to assess circadian changes in a set of various variables. They obtained data from all subjects in the sitting position, both forearms lying horizontally on armchair supports, flexor surfaces up, at fixed clock hours (04:00, 09:00, 14:00, 19:00, 23:00 h) during a 48 hour span, beginning on Friday at 18:00 h and ending Sunday at 15:00 h. The data were obtained during the follicular/luteal phases only, and not during menses. The women maintained a social synchronization with a nonstrenuous diurnal activity from 07:00 to 23:00 h and a nocturnal rest. Environmental conditions were controlled (26 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 45%). The 2 groups were similar in median age (22 years), weight (57 kg), and height (162 cm). The 24 hour mean was greater in OC users than nonusers for systolic blood pressure (104.4 vs. 101.1 mmHg; p 0.0001), heart rate (73 vs. 69.3 count/min; p 0.01), skin blood flow (295 vs. 271 arbitrary units; p 0.04), and transepidermal water loss (317 vs. 287 arbitrary units; p 0.02). It was lower in OC users than nonusers for salivary cortisol (30.7 vs. 39.3 mcg/dl; p 0.04) and skin amino acids (0.9 vs. 7.6 nmoles/sq cm; p 0.003). Even though the 24 hour mean for salivary melatonin and the peak time were similar for both groups, the peak time was only significant in nonusers (p 0.02), suggesting that OCs obliterated the circadian rhythm of melatonin. It has been suggested that OCs alter an individual's sensitivity to light and consequently the circadian rhythm of melatonin. Other documented rhythms (diastolic blood pressure, grip strength of both hands, oral temperature, self-rated fatigue, and the skin variables of urea, lactate, triglycerides, and acid phosphatase activity) were similar in both groups.

PMID:
8874983
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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