In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers led by Dr. Philip Hannaford from Scotland’s University of Aberdeen have reported that women who take the pill may have longer lives. According to them, oral contraceptives appear to significantly decrease women’s risk of dying from cancer and other diseases.

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For 39 years, researchers followed more than 46,000 female patients in 1,400 medical practices in the UK. They found that those who took the pill had lower risks of getting a heart attack or a stroke. They also had lower risks of dying because of cancer. As wonderful as this news is, however, not everyone is suited to take oral contraceptives. For example, women who have a medical history of blood clotting are strongly advised to use another form of contraception.

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In addition, researchers found that there is a small window of increased risk of death for pill users. Apparently, women younger than 45 and who stopped using the pill five to nine years earlier may find themselves with a slightly increased risk of death. The risk, however, disappears after 10 years.

Hannaford goes on to say that that since the study was based on first-generation pills, which were loaded with more estrogen, today’s pills may not produce the same exact result. More research needs to be done but nevertheless, the results shouldn’t be too far apart.

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(Photo by Melissa Ramirez via sxc.hu)

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