Effect of second- and third-generation oral contraceptives on the protein C system in the absence or presence of the factor VLeiden mutation: a randomized trial.
ABSTRACT A plausible mechanism to explain thrombotic risk differences associated with the use of second- and third-generation oral contraceptives (OCs), particularly in carriers of factor V(Leiden), is still lacking. In a double-blind trial, 51 women without and 35 women with factor V(Leiden) were randomized to either a second- (30 microg ethinylestradiol/150 microg levonorgestrel) or third- (30 microg ethinylestradiol/150 microg desogestrel) generation OC. After 2 cycles of use and a wash-out of 2 cycles, the participants continued with the corresponding progestagen-only preparation. Hemostatic variables that probe the activity of the anticoagulant protein C system were determined. Compared with levonorgestrel, desogestrel-containing OCs significantly decreased protein S and increased activated protein C (APC) resistance in both groups. OCs with desogestrel had the most pronounced effects in carriers of factor V(Leiden). Progestagen-only preparations caused changes of anticoagulant parameters opposite to those of combined OCs, which in a number of cases were more pronounced with levonorgestrel. Our data show that progestagens in combined OCs counteract the thrombotic effect of the estrogen component. The higher thrombotic risk associated with third-generation OCs compared with second-generation OCs may be explained by the fact that desogestrel appeared less antithrombotic than levonorgestrel, especially in women with factor V(Leiden).
Article: Complex actions of sex steroids in adipose tissue, the cardiovascular system, and brain: Insights from basic science and clinical studies.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Recent publications describing the results of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and other studies reporting the impact of hormone therapy on aging women have spurred reexamination of the broad use of estrogens and progestins during the postmenopausal years. Here, we review the complex pharmacology of these hormones, the diverse and sometimes opposite effects that result from the use of different estrogenic and progestinic compounds, given via different delivery routes in different concentrations and treatment sequence, and to women of different ages and health status. We examine our new and growing appreciation of the role of estrogens in the immune system and the inflammatory response, and we pose the concept that estrogen's interface with this system may be at the core of some of the effects on multiple physiological systems, such as the adipose/metabolic system, the cardiovascular system, and the central nervous system. We compare and contrast clinical and basic science studies as we focus on the actions of estrogens in these systems because the untoward effects of hormone therapy reported in the WHI were not expected. The broad interpretation and publicity of the results of the WHI have resulted in a general condemnation of all hormone replacement in postmenopausal women. In fact, careful review of the extensive literature suggests that data resulting from the WHI and other recent studies should be interpreted within the narrow context of the study design. We argue that these results should encourage us to perform new studies that take advantage of a dialogue between basic scientists and clinician scientists to ensure appropriate design, incorporation of current knowledge, and proper interpretation of results. Only then will we have a better understanding of what hormonal compounds should be used in which populations of women and at what stages of menopausal/postmenopausal life.Endocrine Reviews 11/2006; 27(6):575-605. · 19.93 Impact Factor