Smokers' use of
Contraceptives up risk of Heart Attacks, Blood Clots
Madrid, Spain, (EWTN News/CNA):
Women who are smokers and use hormonal contraceptives – whether
pills, patches or rings – are at greater risk for blood clots
and heart attacks, according to the Spanish Heart Federation.
A study by the University of Copenhagen published
in the British Medical Journal and carried out on 9.4 million
women between the ages of 15 and 49, found that users of some
method of hormonal contraception are at greater risk for blood
clots than women who don’t use them.
The data from the study showed that these
illnesses are eight times more common among users of
contraceptive patches, 6.5 times more common among users of
vaginal rings, and 3 times higher among those who take oral
study also published in the British Medical Journal and carried
out by the UK General Practice Research Database on women
between the ages of 15 and 44 showed that blood clots are more
frequent among women who take contraceptives with Drospirenone –
a synthetic form of progesterone – than among those who use
contraceptives containing levonorgestrel, which is an older type
of synthetic progesterone.
“These studies show that the use of hormonal
contraceptives is not free of secondary effects, especially when
it comes to cardiovascular health,” said Almudena Castro,
president of Rehabilitation and Preventive Cardiology at the
Spanish Cardiology Society.
“Consequently, women should be warned of their
potential risks, especially women who are at increased risk of
“However,” Castro added, “each individual case should be
analyzed when prescribing hormonal contraceptives, as a healthy
24-year-old smoker will be different that a 40-year-old
Hormonal contraceptives are known to have the potential to cause
blood clots both in veins and in arteries. They also affect
lipids in the blood and increase the concentration of
cholesterol and triglycerides.