A study published in the British Medical Journal says women who have taken the pill are less likely to die from any cause, including all cancers and heart disease, compared with those who have never used it.
The British Times reports:
Philip Hannaford, a professor at the University of Aberdeen who led the study for the Royal College of GPs, said that over a lifetime, women who took the Pill at any stage were less likely to die from any cause than those who did not.The study also says younger women are at slightly higher risk of suffering heart attack, stroke or breast and cervical cancers while taking the pill, but researchers say this effect is negligible, and outweighed by wider benefits. They also say any adverse effects of the pill disappear within ten years of stopping take it, and could easily be counteracted by regular doctor visits and a healthy lifestyle.
“Our best estimate is that if you took a group of 100,000 women, and they used the pill for a year, on average you would have 52 fewer deaths in those women compared to those using other forms of contraception.”
Professor Hannaford said that the beneficial effects may only be true for women who have taken older-style pills — rather than those on newer drugs, which may have slightly different formulations.
But he added that the lower risks were probably not a direct result of the Pill. “It might be that the characteristics of these women, that they are more likely to use health services, have blood checks or other monitoring means they are at reduced risk.”