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Long-term effects of combined oral contraceptives on markers of endothelial function and lipids in healthy premenopausal women.

Author(s): Merki-Feld GS, Rosselli M, Dubey RK, Jager AW, Keller PJ

Affiliation(s): Clinic of Endocrinology, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland. gabriele.merki@fhk.usz.ch

Publication date & source: 2002-03, Contraception., 65(3):231-6.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

The aim of this prospective cross-over study was to investigate the effect of two low-dosed oral contraceptives on markers of endothelial function and plasma lipids. Twelve healthy, nonsmoking women (mean age: 21.7 years) were recruited from the family planning clinic of the university hospital Zurich. For 6 months the participants received a treatment with two contraceptive pills containing 30 microg ethinyl estradiol/150 microg levonorgestrel (three cycles) and 30 microg ethinyl estradiol/75 microg gestodene (three cycles). Plasma levels of endothelin-1, nitric oxide, cholesterol, and HDL were measurement before and during treatment with both oral contraceptive treatments.No significant changes in the plasma levels of nitric oxide and endothelin-1, both important regulators of the vascular tone, were observed during oral contraceptive use. A significant negative correlation was found between nitric oxide and endothelin-1 and nitric oxide and cholesterol. There was a positive correlation between endothelin-1 and cholesterol. In conclusion, the investigated contraceptive pills did not cause major changes in circulating nitric oxide and endothelin-1 plasma levels.

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