Analysis of Risk Factors of Stroke and Venous Thromboembolism in Females With Oral Contraceptives Use
Thrombotic diathesis has been a well-known complication of oral contraceptive use for more than 50 years. This is true not only for venous thrombosis but also for an arterial one. The etiology is usually multifactorial and depends on several additional risk factors. We analyzed the prevalence of inherited and acquired thrombophilia in a cohort of 770 females who had a thrombotic event in association with oral contraceptive use (700 women with venous thromboembolism [VTE], 70 with stroke). Moreover, we tried to identify additional risk factors. Inherited thrombophilia was found in 44.5% with higher frequency in the cohort with VTE (42%) than in females with stroke (24%). The most frequent finding was factor V Leiden. Cigarette smoking was significantly more frequent in the group with stroke (50% vs 25%). The prevalence of cigarette smoking in the group with VTE did not exceed the frequency in general population. Women on oral contraceptive pills have higher risk of venous as well as arterial thrombosis. The risk of venous thrombosis is increased in females with inherited thrombophilia, whereas those with some additional acquired risk factors (especially smoking) may be predisposed to arterial thrombosis. However, the absolute risk of thrombosis in healthy women is low, far less than the risk of unintended pregnancy. Moreover, the risk may be reduced by keeping some rules before the prescription of the pills, healthy life style, and a proper choice of contraception.