Risk of blood clots two-fold for women with polycystic ovary syndrome on combined pill

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who are taking combined oral contraceptives have a 2-fold risk of blood clots compared with women without the disorder who take contraceptives, states a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

PCOS affects between 6% and 10% of women of reproductive age with some estimates as high as 15%, making it the most common in this age group. such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and others are double among women with PCOS compared with women without the disorder. It is usually treated with combined oral contraceptives to regulate menstrual cycles and to help with acne and excessive hair growth associated with the condition. However, combined oral contraceptives are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

Researchers from the US and Canada looked at 87 012 women aged 18 to 46 years in the US, half with PCOS and half as controls, to determine whether women with PCOS taking are at increased risk of venous compared to matched contraceptive users. They excluded women with a history of heart disease, cancer and previous blood clots.

"We found a 2-fold increased risk of venous thromboembolism among women with PCOS taking combined oral contraceptives compared with matched controls," states Steven Bird, lead author and pharmacoepidemiologist with the (FDA) in the United States, with coauthors. "We found a similar increased risk when we expanded the definition of PCOS by including its symptoms and treatment. We also found a 1.5-fold increased relative risk of venous thromboembolism among women with PCOS who were not taking contraceptives compared with matched controls."

"Our findings are consistent with the previously reported 2-fold increase in most of the risk factors for venous thromboembolism among women with PCOS."

"Physicians should consider the increased risk of venous thromboembolism when prescribing contraceptive therapy to women with PCOS," conclude the authors.

More information: www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.120677

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Women with PCOS have family heart disease link

Oct 05, 2011

A new study from the University of Adelaide shows the parents of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease.

Recommended for you

Boxed warnings are common in novel therapeutics

Aug 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—Boxed warnings are common on recent drug approvals, and many occur years after approval, according to a research letter published online Aug. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

AstraZeneca says DOJ closes probe into drug trial

Aug 19, 2014

British drugmaker AstraZeneca says the U.S. Department of Justice has closed its investigation into a clinical trial of the company's blood thinner Brilinta, and plans no further action.

Perampanel for epilepsy: Still no proof of added benefit

Aug 19, 2014

The drug perampanel (trade name Fycompa) has been approved since July 2012 as adjunctive ("add-on") therapy for adults and children aged 12 years and older with epileptic fits (seizures). In a new early benefit assessment ...

User comments