Recent observational studies show a slightly increased risk of venous thromboembolism among users of newer combined oral contraceptives with odds ratios between 0.8 and 2.3 when compared with users of older oral contraceptives. The controversy regarding the newer oral contraceptives is reviewed by analyzing the recent studies with epidemiologic methods. Key studies on venous thromboembolism may be subject to bias related to prescribing criteria, diagnostics, hospital referral, cohort effects, and residual confounding, resulting in an overestimate of the risk of venous thromboembolism associated with the newer oral contraceptives. The studies on stroke showed no difference between newer and older oral contraceptives, and studies on myocardial infarction show that newer oral contraceptives carry no risk of this event. Newer-generation oral contraceptives are unlikely to constitute a significant hazard to the user population with regard to venous thromboembolism. The results for other disease entities also need to be taken into account when the results on venous thromboembolism are assessed on a population basis. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179:1086-97.)
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: Oct 1, 1998
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