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April 1969

Oral Contraceptives and Blood Pressure

Author Affiliations

Charlottesville, Va; Chapel Hill, NC

From the departments of preventive medicine and medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville (Drs. Kunin and McCormack), and the; School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Dr. Abernathy).

Arch Intern Med. 1969;123(4):362-365. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300140008003

Relation between use of oral contraceptives and blood pressure was examined in 1,575 white working females aged 15 to 44 years. Of these, 31.5% were using oral contraceptives when their blood pressure was measured. Covariance analysis revealed slightly higher and statistically significant mean systolic and diastolic pressures in women using oral contraceptives, after correction for age, height, weight, and arm circumference. A sample of this population one year later, showed little tendency for blood pressure to be affected by oral contraceptives, except for a slight but significant fall in diastolic pressures among women who did not use these drugs. These data are in part reassuring since little or no effect was observed in a population studied over a short period of time. The physician should carefully observe blood pressure changes in patients receiving this medication.