Venous thromboembolism among new users of different oral contraceptives

R. M. Herings, J. Urquhart, H. G. Leufkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


New use of third generation oral contraceptives is associated with a four-fold increased risk of venous thromboembolism compared with users of second generation oral contraceptives, particularly among young, healthy women. This article focuses on venous thromboembolism (VTE) cases among oral contraceptive (OC) users. New use of third generation oral contraceptives is associated with a four-fold increased risk of VTE compared with the users of second generation OCs, particularly among young, healthy women. Data were obtained from the PHARMO system, which includes information of hospital admissions and drug dispensing for all 450,000 residents of 8 Dutch cities. The drug-dispensing record obtained from pharmacy files are complete, and are linked nationwide to the patient's hospital discharge records with a sensitivity and specificity of 95%. Samples included women aged 15-49 years without a history of prior VTE, oral anticoagulants, depot hormone preparations, cardiovascular drugs, the "morning after pill", or hospitalization for any reason in the 2 months before start of OC use. Results suggest that the difference in VTE risk between second and third generation OC is highest among the youngest women who use OC for the first time. However, it might be argued that among these young women, all those with an increased susceptibility for VTE are still present. eng
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-128
Number of pages2
Issue number9173
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent Adult Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic/*adverse effects Desogestrel/*adverse effects Female Humans Middle Aged Risk Factors Thromboembolism/*chemically induced Adolescents *Adolescents, Female Age Factors Biology *Cardiovascular Effects Contraception Contraceptive Agents Contraceptive Agents, Estrogen Contraceptive Agents, Female Contraceptive Agents, Progestin Contraceptive Methods Demographic Factors *Desogestrel Developed Countries Diseases Embolism *Ethinyl Estradiol Europe Family Planning Netherlands *Oral Contraceptives Physiology Population Population Characteristics *Research Report *Risk Factors *Thromboembolism Vascular Diseases Western Europe Youth

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