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November 1967

Strokes in Young Women Using Oral Contraceptives

Author Affiliations

Winston-Salem, NC

From the Department of Neurology, Wake Forest University, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.

Arch Intern Med. 1967;120(5):551-555. doi:10.1001/archinte.1967.00300040035006

A STROKE in a young woman is an uncommon clinical event. When it does occur, an etiology other than atherosclerosis is often found if diligently sought for. Pregnancy, atrial fibrillation, rheumatic heart disease, endocarditis, vasculitis, trauma, or blood dyscrasias are the associated conditions usually thought of, and it is only the unusual case in which no cause can be ascertained. We have seen five young women in the course of the past year, each of whom had a stroke in the absence of any of the predisposing medical conditions mentioned above. Each patient had been using an oral contraceptive drug when the stroke occurred.

Because of the possibility that oral contraceptives may play a causative role in the genesis of brain infarction, we are prompted to record these cases.

Report of Cases 

Case 1 (NCBH 41 57 73).  —A 24-year-old white woman, gravida 3, para 3, with a family

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