Study Looks at Risks Associated With Oral Contraceptives for Black Women

Black women taking low-dose oral contraceptives have a risk of side effects that can lead to heart disease and diabetes, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, Reuters Health reports.

For the study, NIH researcher Anne Summer and colleagues examined 104 healthy black women who did not have diabetes. Twenty-one of the women were taking oral contraceptives and 83 were not.

Researchers found that compared with the other participants, the women taking oral contraceptives had higher glucose levels after fasting for two hours and higher fasting triglyceride levels. They also were more insulin-resistant. In an analysis based on weight, researchers found that women taking oral contraceptives who were not considered obese were more insulin resistant and were more likely to be glucose intolerant.

According to the study, “Compared with white women, African-American women are more insulin resistant, have a higher prevalence of glucose intolerance and paradoxically lower triglyceride levels. Therefore, the metabolic effects of oral contraceptive pill observed in white women cannot be extrapolated to African-American women.” [full article]


Filed under academic, african american, black, black women, news, women

3 responses to “Study Looks at Risks Associated With Oral Contraceptives for Black Women

  1. yvonnjanae

    We need to talk more about insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Black women have been painted as being less intelligent and weak-willed because many of us are overweight. Yet, there have been few studies on how the “average” American diet that is high in carbohydrates may be making us more inclined to gain and have difficulty taking it back off. I’m not saying it as an excuse not to diet and exercise, but it may explain the greater difficulty than other ethnic women seem to have.

  2. Kim

    when doctors really decide to let the cat out of the bag, everyone’s gonna know that oral contraceptives are causing a whole lot more problems than this. women that need birth control need to have a copper IUD or have tubular ligation. end of story. you can’t expect a good thing when any woman’s taking something that tells her body she’s pregnant 365 days a year, for years on end. no surprise at all

  3. Mo

    I think that this story has not addressed the fact that a lot of women of color have diseases associated with insulin resistance such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome that are not diagnosed unless they have irregular/heavy periods or other reproductive ramifications.

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