Oral Contraceptive Use and Fasting Triglyceride, Plasma Cholesterol and HDL Cholesterol

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Fasting plasma triglyceride, plasma cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels were studied for 190 white women, ages 21–39 years, who were classified according to their oral contraceptive (OC) usage patterns at two community surveys, 3 years apart. The mean level of fasting triglyceride was higher among current OC users (95 mg/100 ml) than among nonusers (73 mg/100 ml) (p = 0.002). After adjustment for the possible confounding effects of age, weight, current cigarette smoking and fasting glucose level, current OC users still had a mean plasma triglyceride level 19 mg/100 ml higher than that of nonusers (p = 0.007). Current OC users also appeared to have somewhat higher levels of total cholesterol which were of borderline significance in crude and adjusted analyses. There was a nonsignificant inverse relationship of OC use with HDL cholesterol levels. Past use did not affect these results, indicating that the OC-induced lipid changes were reversible.

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