Women using birth control pills are not predisposed to developing heart disease, according to a recent study.
The study findings debunked previous assumptions that heart attacks involving women on contraceptives could be traced to the pills’ side effects.
The pills subjected to the study include such brands like Micronor and Ovrette that contain hormone progestin, unlike traditional pills that bear estrogen.
“I think this is very reassuring that there is no increased risk of heart attack,” said Chrisandra Shufelt of the Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
But Shufelt stressed that while combined contraceptives, which blend progestin and estrogen, are more popular, their safety is still a matter of debate.
Millions of women worldwide today take progestin-only contraceptives.
Previews research had cited that women on pills face twice the risk of heart than those who are not taking the contraceptive pills.
But the latest study however, indicated that reported cases of women in early 30’s who suffer heart attack involved only 2 out of a million healthy women. So even if taking pills doubles that risk still wouldn’t amount too much, the study stressed.
“What really render women at increased risk of heart disease are heavy smoking, high-cholesterol diet switching to mini-pills or another progestin-only product,” said Dr. Genevieve Plu-Bureau, who led the review.
“In women without cardiovascular risk factors, I do not think that this switch would be necessary,” Plu-Bureau added.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the new study was based on results from six previous studies that examined heart attack risk in women on progestin-only birth control.
The study covered more than 1,800 women aged 16 to 44 years on birth control and compared those to women not taking the hormones.