Cardiovascular complications of oral contraceptives.

Norman M Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cardiovascular complications of oral contraceptives (OCs) are discussed. OCs are safe for most young women for temporary birth control, however, they should not be used by women over age 35 who want no more children. Problems such as hypertension, increased tendency to clot, a rise in triglycerides, and a decrease in glucose tolerance occur in 5-10% of women of any age who take OCs for 5 years. These factors in turn are responsible for complications such as thromboembolism, heart attack, and stroke which occur with increased frequency among OC users. Most who take OCs suffer more subtle disturbances in blood pressure, and biochemical and hormonal levels which may pose additional risks for cardiovascular disease. It is concluded that the risks of OC use often outweigh the benefits, however, prudent use of OCs will improve the balance between risk and benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalAnnual review of medicine
Volume29
DOIs
StatePublished - 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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