In a new study of 1,300 women, 81 percent had a history of contraceptive use for an average of 13 years. After adjusting for age, smoking, blood pressure and obesity, use of birth control was associated with a 20 to 30 percent increase in plaque buildup around the heart, for each decade of use.
Radha Kachley, M.D. of Duke University Medical Center says, "It's generated more hypothesis, I think, and in the long run we're not sure if that's going to impact number of heart attacks women will have."
In a related study, hormone replacement therapy may actually help women's hearts. For women who began HRT before age 45, the risk of heart disease was lower, compared to those who start later.
This is all information that was presented on November 6 during the American Heart Association's annual conference.