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Birth Control Pills and Heart Disease
Earlier studies have shown that the combined pill (containing estrogen and progestin) can increase the risk of heart attacks in women who are predisposed to heart disease. However, a recent study showed that there was no link between heart attacks and taking the so-called "mini-pill" - pills that contain only progestin, according to Reuters.
Mini-pill - a contraceptive pill, which are produced under such brands as Mikronon and Ovret. They contain the hormone progestin, but do not contain estrogen, which is part of a more traditional, combined contraceptive pills. There are other hormonal methods of contraception, based on only a progestin, for example, these include the contraceptive implant and contraceptive injections. Scientists suggest that these studies on the mini-pill also apply to these methods of contraception.
"I believe that the absence of increased risk of heart attack is very encouraging," - said Dr. Krisandra Shafelt of the Women's Heart Center, United States, which did not participate in this study.
In the world of millions of women who use contraception on the basis of progestin. The combined contraceptive containing progestin and estrogen, which comes in the form of pills or patches are much more popular and its efficiency is higher. However, debate continues about the safety of the combined contraceptive Shafelt notes. For example, two reviews of studies have shown that among women taking the combined contraceptive pill, the risk of a heart attack two times higher than among women who did not use contraception.
However, this risk is not very noticeable - among the one million healthy women younger than 35 years, no more than two experiencing a heart attack. So even an increased risk of heart attack in half means attacks in four women in a million.
Despite this, women with an increased risk of heart disease, including many smokers, or those suffering from high blood pressure, combined pills are contraindicated. New evidence suggests that such women may enjoy the mini-pill or other methods based on only progestin, said Dr. Genevieve plu-Office, who led the study.
"If a woman has no cardiovascular risk factors, I do not think they should go to other means" - said in an interview with plu-Office, which works in a hospital in Paris.
In the new study, whose results were published in the medical journal «Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism», were analyzed six previous studies on risk factors of heart attacks in women taking pills, based on only a progestin.
The studies involved a total of 1,800 women aged 16 to 44 years who received hormonal contraception, and that compared with women who did not take hormones.
However, the findings of the study is not definitive because the number of women was relatively small and are not divided into groups according to the dose of the hormone progestin, and a variety of tablets.
Mini-pill - the pill, which is somewhat less effective than combination therapy. However, they are usually cheaper and have fewer contraindications, including, they can be taken for women who breastfeed.
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