Study Title:

Influence of oral contraceptive pills on homocysteine and nitric oxide levels: as risk factors for cardiovascular disease

Study Abstract

Purpose: Elevation of homocysteine levels have been involved as a remarkable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Decreased bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO) may result in abnormal reactions between the vessel wall and platelets and is thus involved in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. We aimed to assess the effect of a low dose oral contraceptive pills on homocysteine and NO levels which may influence the individual cardiovascular risk by regulation of endothelial function and development of atherosclerosis.

Methods: The study was conducted in 50 healthy women with normal menstrual cycles as control group and 50 healthy women receiving oral contraceptive pill for at least three menstrual cycles. Homocysteine concentration was assayed by an enzyme immunoassay method and a colorimetric assay was used for determination of NO levels.

Results: After 3 months of treatment, homocysteine levels were significantly increased (P = 0.027), and there was a significant and considerable decrease (P = 0.048) in NO concentration of oral contraceptive pill (OCP) consumers.

Conclusions: Our data indicates that OCPs increase the homocysteine (HCY) and reduce the NO levels. These findings warrant a possible implication of OCP in change of risk of development of coronary heart disease.

Study Information

J Clin Lab Anal. 2012 Feb;26(2):120-3. doi: 10.1002/jcla.21492. PMID: 22467328; PMCID: PMC6807507.

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