LOW-DOSE BIRTH CONTROL PILLS DO NOT INCREASE HEART ATTACKS

An article the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that taking low-dose birth control pills does not increase a non-smoking woman' chances for a heart attack.

However, the older, higher dose birth control pills that contain more than 50 micrograms of estrogen do increase a woman's chances for a heart attack, even if she does not smoke. Heavily-smoking women probably should not take even the newer low-dose birth cotnrol pills because they increase risk for heart attacks by 250 percent. Women who smoke have 12 times the risk for heart attacks than non-smoking women do, and heavy smoking women who take birth control pills have 32 times the risk. Birth control pills increase risk for clotting that blocks arteries leading to the heart to cause a heart attack. Smoking constricts arteries and increases clotting to block arteries.

Arch Intern Med. 2001;161:1065-1070) April 23, 2001

Reported 4/23/01; checked 9/3/05

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