Newer Contraceptive Pill Linked to Fatal Blood Clots

LONDON, JULY 20, 2001 ( Women taking newer, third-generation contraceptive pills face a higher risk of potentially fatal blood clots, a study confirms, according to the Telegraph.

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Dutch researchers found that these pills, which caused a health scare in the mid-1990s, almost doubled the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

The risk was greatest among first-time users. They were more than three times more likely to develop the clots than were the women using older contraceptive pills.

The findings, in the British Medical Journal, support studies which have shown that deep vein thrombosis in third-generation pill users was 25 cases per 100,000 women compared with 15 per 100,000 among users of older pills.

Third-generation pills were at the center of a scare in 1995 when the British government warned that seven brands containing gestodene or desogestrel increased risk of thrombosis.

The scare caused the proportion of women taking them to fall from 54% to 14% and resulted in an extra 10,000 abortions the following year, the Telegraph said.

The team, from the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands, looked at the results of studies examining the links between thrombosis and the contraceptive pill.

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