Aims: The association between progestin-only contraceptive (POC) use and the risk of various cardiometabolic outcomes has rarely been studied. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the impact of POC use on cardiometabolic outcomes including venous thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension and diabetes. Methods and results: Nineteen observational studies (seven cohort and 12 case–control) were included in this systematic review. Of those, nine studies reported the risk of venous thromboembolism, six reported the risk of myocardial infarction, six reported the risk of stroke, three reported the risk of hypertension and two studies reported the risk of developing diabetes with POC use. The pooled adjusted relative risks (RRs) for venous thromboembolism, myocardial infarction and stroke for oral POC users versus non-users based on the random effects model were 1.06 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70–1.62), 0.98 (95% CI 0.66–1.47) and 1.02 (95% CI 0.72–1.44), respectively. Stratified analysis by route of administration showed that injectable POC with a RR of 2.62 (95% CI 1.74–3.94), but not oral POCs (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.7–1.62), was associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism. A decreased risk of venous thromboembolism in a subgroup of women using an intrauterine levonorgestrel device was observed with a RR of 0.53 (95% CI 0.32–0.89). No effect of POC use on blood pressure was found, but there was an indication for an increased risk of diabetes with injectable POCs, albeit non-significant. Conclusions: This systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that oral POC use is not associated with an increased risk of developing various cardiometabolic outcomes, whereas injectable POC use might increase the risk of venous thromboembolism.

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European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Department of Epidemiology