AMSTERDAM, December 20, 2001 ( – According to a new study in the Dec. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, women who take any type of oral contraceptives are at twice the risk of having a heart attack as women who do not use ‘the pill’. Researchers from eight university medical centers in the Netherlands conducted a nationwide, population-based, case-control study involving 1,173 Dutch women between the ages of 18 and 49. They found that depending on the combination of chemicals used in the manufacture of the pills, the increased risk of heart attack over non-users of the pills varied from 30% greater risk to 280% greater risk.

Oral contraceptives were categorized into three groups based on the type of progestagens used. Women who used first-generation pills containing lynestrenol or norethindrone were found 2.8 times more likely to suffer a heart attack as non-users. Women using second-generation pills containing levonorgestrel were 2.4 times more likely to have a heart attack as non-users. Women using third-generation pills containing either desogestrel or gestodene were 1.3 times more likely to have a heart attack than non-users, but this finding was not statistically significant.

See the abstract from the journal and the AP coverage:


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