Changed levels of endogenous sex steroids in women on oral contraceptives.
Serum and urinary levels of unconjugated testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and oestradiol were measured by specific radioimmunoassays in 10 healthy women in the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle and in nine healthy women taking oral contraceptives. The contraceptive group had testosterone levels 1-3 times higher and dihydrotestosterone levels two times higher than those in the controls. Serum oestradiol levels in the contraceptive group were much lower than those in the controls and similar to levels in postmenopausal women. The contraceptive group had about twice the urinary excretion of unconjugated (free) testosterone and dihydrotestosterone of the controls, but their excretion of unconjugated oestradiol was 2-7 times lower. The great increase in serum and urinary androgen concentrations, as well as the suppression of oestradiol, may be related to the antiovulatory effect of oral contraceptives. (+info)
Oral contraceptive use: interview data versus pharmacy records.
BACKGROUND: If women tend to forget and underreport their past oral contraceptive (OC) use, but the recall among cases is enhanced by the presence of disease, recall bias may explain some reported health effects of OC use. METHODS: Two different sources of information on lifetime OC use were compared for 427 (84%) of a community-based sample of 511 women aged 20-34: (i) structured interviews, using a life event calendar and picture display as memory aids, and (ii) a register of all prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies in the county since 1970. RESULTS: Interview data and pharmacy records showed high levels of agreement for any OC use, current use, time since first and last use, total duration of use, and for duration of use in different 'time windows'. But there was a tendency to under-report specific kinds of OC used in the past. CONCLUSION: Underreporting of OC use among non-cases would usually introduce little or no bias (as compared to pharmacy records) for this kind of interview and women. However, it may be preferable to use interviews for current OC use, and pharmacy records for specific kinds of OC used in the past. (+info)
he pill in Japan: will approval ever come?
Pigment epithelial windows and drusen: an animal model.
Aging rhesus monkeys, both controls and those undergoing long-term administration of investigational oral contraceptive steroids, developed widespread hyperfluorescent dots at the posterior pole. The dots were considered to represent drusen. Histologic (including electron microscopic) study showed the "drusen" in some of the animals to be almost exclusively pigment epithelial windows produced by a lipoidal degeneration of the pigment epithelial cells. The experiment provided a fortuitous model for direct correlation of clinical and histologic observations of myriad uniform, tiny, depigmented, hyperfluorescent, nonleaking spots at the level of the retinal pigment epithelium. (+info)
Tell everything you know about birth control pills.
Moderate physical activity in relation to mammographic patterns.
High-risk mammographic patterns may be used as a surrogate end point for breast cancer in etiologic research as well as in prevention studies. Physical activity may be one of the few modifiable risk factors for breast cancer. We examined the relationship between physical activity and mammographic patterns among 2720 Norwegian women, ages 40-56 years, who participated in both the Second and Third Tromso studies. Epidemiologic data were obtained through questionnaires. Two questions from the Second Tromso study and five questions from the Third elicited information on physical activity. The mammograms were categorized into five groups based on anatomical-mammographic correlations. For analysis, patterns I through III were combined into a low-risk group and patterns IV and V into a high-risk group. Odds ratios that were adjusted for age, education, menopausal status, body mass index, parity, age at menarche, oral contraceptive use, and alcohol intake, with 95% confidence intervals, were estimated using logistic regression. Women who reported moderate physical activity, i.e., more than 2 h/week, were 20% less likely (odds ratio, 0.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.6-1.1) to have high-risk mammographic patterns compared with those who reported being inactive. This relationship remains consistent when stratified by menopausal status, parity, and tertiles of body mass index. However, all of the associations between various measures of physical activity and high-risk patterns found in this study are weak with confidence intervals that include 1.0. Thus, chance is a reasonable explanation for the weak associations found. The relationship between physical activity and high-risk patterns should be examined further as a means to explore the biologic mechanisms relating physical activity to breast cancer risk. (+info)
The risk of serious illness among oral contraceptive users: evidence from the RCGP's oral contraceptive study.
BACKGROUND: So far, no-one has attempted to evaluate the overall balance of serious, but not necessarily fatal, disease among a cohort of oral contraceptive users. AIM: To emprirically assess the balance of risk of serious illness among a cohort of oral contraceptive users followed up for up to 28 years. METHODS: Oral contraceptive-associated serious disease was defined as that which is often life-threatening and/or associated with long-term disability, and which has been found, or postulated, to be associated with use of combined oral contraceptives. Data from the Royal College of General Practitioners' (RCGP) Oral Contraception Study were examined to determine the rate of such conditions during 335,181 woman-years of observation in 'ever users' and 228,727 woman-years in 'never users'. The rates were standardized for age, parity, social class, and smoking. RESULTS: Compared with never users, ever users had a small increased risk of any serious disease (relative risk = 1.17; 95% confidence interval = 1.09-1.25). Ever users had an excess risk of cerebrovascular disease, pulmonary embolism, and venous thromboembolism, and reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. The increased risk was seen only in younger women; by the age of 50, ever users had the same risk as never users. The risk appeared to be confined to women using older oral contraceptives containing 50 micrograms or more of oestrogen. CONCLUSIONS: Past users of older, higher dose oral contraceptives can be reassured that the small increased risk of serious disease seen during current use does not persist after stopping, and that latent effects do not appear later in life. Currently available oral contraceptives, containing less than 50 micrograms of oestrogen accompanied by the progestogen, levonorgestrel, or norethisterone acetate, do not appear to be associated with an increased net risk of serious disease. (+info)
Interaction between the G20210A mutation of the prothrombin gene and oral contraceptive use in deep vein thrombosis.
Single-point mutations in the gene coding for prothrombin (factor II:A20210) or factor V (factor V:A1691) are associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism. The use of oral contraceptives is also a strong and independent risk factor for the disease, and the interaction between factor V:A1691 and oral contraceptives greatly increases the risk. No information is available about the interaction between oral contraceptives and mutant prothrombin. We investigated 148 women with a first, objectively confirmed episode of deep vein thrombosis and 277 healthy women as controls. Fourteen patients (9.4%) were carriers of factor II:A20210, 24 (16.2%) of factor V:A1691, and 4 (2.7%) of both defects. Among controls, the prevalence was 2.5% for either factor II:A20210 or factor V:A1691, and there was no carrier of both the mutations. The relative risk of thrombosis was 6-fold for factor II:A20210 and 9-fold for factor V:A1691. The most prevalent circumstantial risk factor in patients and the only one observed in controls was oral contraceptive use, which per se conferred a 6-fold increased risk of thrombosis. The risk increased to 16.3 and 20.0 when women with factor II:A20210 or factor V:A1691 who used oral contraceptives were compared with noncarriers and nonusers. These figures indicate a multiplicative interaction between the genetic risk factors and oral contraceptives. No difference in the type of oral contraceptives was observed between patients and controls, those of third generation being the most frequently used (73% and 80%). We conclude that carriers of the prothrombin mutation who use oral contraceptives have a markedly increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, much higher than the risk conferred by either factor alone. (+info)