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Women's Health

Old Age and Birth Control Pill

01/22/2010

Question:

Dear expert,

Why old women are at higher risk of developing stroke or embolism when they take birth control pill compared to young women?

Answer:

The risk of blood clots with oral contraceptives is mainly related to the estrogen dose. Today's OCs have very low levels of estrogen (20-35mcg), so the risk of blood clots is very low. However, as women age they are more prone to blood clots. Women 45 years and older have a greater risk of blood clots.

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Response by:

Debra K Gardner, PhamD Debra K Gardner, PhamD
Former Assistant Clinical Professor of Pharmacy College Business Office
Internal Resource Pool-Allied at OSU Medical Center
Wexner Medical Center
The Ohio State University