NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) Oral contraceptive (OC) use has been inconsistently associated with several adverse cardiovascular events. To assess whether OC use is associated with ischemic stroke, a recent study analyzed results of 16 observational studies identified in a review of the published literature from January 1960 through November 1999. Summary risk estimates indicated that current use of OCs, including newer low-estrogen preparations, was associated with a significantly increased risk of ischemic stroke, though the absolute risk is expected to be small since incidence in this population is low. Smaller estrogen doses were associated with a lower risk, but risk was significantly elevated for all dosages. The relative risk of stroke due to OC use was not different in women who smoked, had migraines, or hypertension.

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