Oral contraceptive use by teenage women does not affect body composition

Tom Lloyd, Hung Mo Lin, Amy E. Matthews, Christina M. Bentley, Richard S. Legro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of oral contraceptive (OC) use during adolescence on body composition parameters and cardiovascular disease risk factors. METHODS: We used 9 years of longitudinal data from 66 non-Hispanic white females who were 12 years old at study entry in 1990, and who were subsequently classified either as OC users or nonusers. The OC users (n = 39) used OCs for a minimum of 6 months, were still using at age 21, and had used OCs, on average, for 28 months. The nonusers (n = 27) never used OCs. Individuals who started and then stopped using OCs before age 21 or used OCs for less than 6 months were excluded from these analyses. Cardiolipoprotein profiles were obtained from fasting blood samples (from age 16 to 21), and body composition measurements were made by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (from age 12.5 to 21). Longitudinal models were used to examine changes in body composition patterns and in cardiolipoprotein patterns. RESULTS: Between ages 12.5 and 21, gains by OC users and nonusers in height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and percent body fat were not significantly different. However, between ages 16 and 21, the OC users had significantly greater increases in total serum cholesterol, serum low-density cholesterol, and serum triglycerides than did the nonusers. CONCLUSION: The use of OCs in young women is associated with less favorable blood lipid patterns, but is not associated with weight gain or increased body fat. The long-term effects of the alteration in the lipid profiles are unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-239
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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