A latest study has showed an association between certain types of birth control and an increased risk of suffering from a rare type of brain cancer, called glioma.
Danish-based researchers found that women under 50 years with the rare brain cancer have 90 percent higher chances of using the hormonal contraceptives for five years or more.
Study lead author Dr. David Gaist said, “90 percent more likely to have been using hormonal contraceptives for five years or more, compared with women from the general population with no history of brain tumor.”
According to the researchers, the use of hormonal contraceptives raised the risk of developing glioma. The duration of use of the contraceptives also played a greater role in causing the rare brain disease.
The study also highlighted that there was increased risk for developing glioma among women who used pills with the hormone progestogen compared to estrogen.
For the study, the researchers involved Danish women between the ages of 15 and 49 years. 317 cases of glioma in women from 2000 to 2009 were looked for the study. 60 percent of the participants had used oral contraceptives. The group was further compared to 2,100 women having no glioma, nearly 50 percent of whom used oral contraceptives.
It was found that only five of every 100,000 women develop glioma each year. The figures also included women who used oral contraceptives.
Gaist said, “An overall risk-benefit evaluation favors continued use of hormonal contraceptives.”
“Even if hormonal contraception does increase the relative risk of glioma, the absolute risk — the actual increase in chances of having a glioma diagnosed — is quite small. Without going through the math, it’s about 8.5 [cases] per million,” said Myers.
The study’s findings have been published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.