Most of the millions of oral contraceptive (OC) users are under 30 years of age and in the critical period for bone mass accrual.
This cross-sectional study of 606 women aged 14���30 years examined both OC duration and estrogen dose and their association with bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip, spine, and whole body (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry).
Of 389 OC users and 217 nonusers enrolled, 50% were adolescents (14���18 years). Of OC users, 38% used ���low-dose��� OCs [<30 mcg ethinyl estradiol (EE)]. In adolescents, mean BMD differed by neither OC duration nor EE dose. However, 19- to 30-year-old women's mean BMD was lower with longer OC use for spine and whole body (p=.004 and p=.02, respectively) and lowest for >12 months of low-dose OCs for the hip, spine and whole body (p=.02, .003 and .002, respectively).
Prolonged use of today's OCs, particularly <30 mcg EE, may adversely impact young adult women's bone density while using these agents.
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Published online: August 25, 2009
Accepted: July 7, 2009
Received in revised form: July 4, 2009
Received: May 23, 2009
���This study was funded by grant 1R01-HD31165-11 (Scholes) from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health. Dr. Beasley is a postdoctoral fellow supported by T-32 AG027677 from the National Institute on Aging.
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