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Oral contraceptives and myocardial infarction: results of the MICA case-control study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simon Thomas


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Objectives To determine the association between myocardial infarction and use of different types of oral contraception in young women. Design Community based case-control study. Data from interviews and general practice records. Setting England, Scotland, and Wales. Participants Cases (n = 448) were recruited from women aged between 16 and 44 who had suffered an incident myocardial infarction between 1 October 1993 and 16 October 1995. Controls (n = 1728) were women without a diagnosis of myocardial infarction matched for age and general practice. Main outcome measures Odds ratios for myocardial infarction in current users of all combined oral contraceptives stratified by their progestagen content compared with non-users; current users of third generation versus second generation oral contraceptives. Results The adjusted odds ratio for myocardial infarction was 1.40 (95% confidence interval 0.78 to 2.52) for all combined oral contraceptive users, 1.10 (0.52 to 2.30) for second generation users, and 1.96 (0.87 to 4.39) for third generation users. Subgroup analysis by progestagen content did not show any significant difference from 1, and there was no effect of duration of use. The adjusted odds ratio for third generation users versus second generation users was 1.78 (0.66 to 4.83). 87% of cases were not exposed to an oral contraceptive, and 88% had clinical cardiovascular risk factors or were smokers, or both. Smoking was strongly associated with myocardial infarction: adjusted odds ratio 12.5 (7.29 to 21.5) for smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day. Conclusions There was no significant association between the use of oral contraceptives and myocardial infarction. The modest and non-significant point estimates for this association have wide confidence intervals. There was no significant difference between second and third generation products.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dunn N, Thorogood M, Faragher B, de Caestecker L, MacDonald TM, McCollum C, Thomas S, Mann R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Medical Journal

Year: 1999

Volume: 318

Issue: 7198

Pages: 1579-1583

Print publication date: 01/06/1999

ISSN (print): 0959-535X

ISSN (electronic): 1756-1833

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmj.318.7198.1579


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