Oral Contraceptives and Low HDL Increase Stroke Risk

Oral Contraceptives and Low HDL Increase Stroke Risk

Reference: Journal of Neurology and Neurosurgical Psychiatry, June 2000;69:29-33.

This study analyzed the relationship between various blood lipid parameters and the risk of ischemic stroke in patients under 45 years of age.

  • There was no relation found between risk of ischemic stroke and total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, or triglycerides.
  • Only low HDL cholesterol levels were shown to increase risk.
  • Other increased risk factors included the use of oral contraceptives, high blood pressure, smoking, and male sex.

These risk factors remained, regardless of any apparent atherosclerosis. The authors state that although the relation between serum lipids and ischemic stroke remains controversial, low HDL cholesterol should be considered in the care of young patients regardless of the detectable presence of atherosclerosis.

Our Comment:

In addition to using birth control pills, one of the biggest causes of low HDL (associated with increased risk of stroke) is the over-consumption of refined carbohydrates (such as refined sugar and refined starches). The better choice is using complex carbohydrates.

There is no medical justification for taking birth control pills. The benefits of taking birth control pills simply do not outweigh the tremendous risks.

In general, birth control pills increase the risk of blood clots, liver and gallbladder disease, stroke, cancer and they cause depletion of many essential nutrients. It would seem wise for all women to avoid taking oral contraceptives.