Background: Controversy exists regarding the adverse and beneficial effects of oral contraceptive use and hormone replacement therapy. Microalbuminuria is associated with increased risk of renal and cardiovascular disease.
Objective: To examine the association between oral contraceptive use or hormone replacement therapy and microalbuminuria.
Methods: We performed a case-control study of the baseline data and historical pharmacy data of 4301 female subjects of the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End Stage Disease study cohort, aged 28 to 75 years, excluding women who were pregnant or had type 1 diabetes mellitus. The main outcome measure was microalbuminuria, defined as a urinary albumin excretion of 30 to 300 mg per 24 hours (recorded as the mean of two 24-hour urine collections).
Results: After adjusting for age, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and smoking, the odds ratio (OR) for having microalbuminuria was 1.90 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23-2.93) for premenopausal oral contraceptive users and 2.05 (95% CI, 1.12-3.77) for postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy users. The point estimate increased in a dose-dependent fashion, albeit insignificantly, according to the estrogen content of the oral contraceptives (<30 microg ethinyl estradiol: OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.14-8.56; 30 to <50 microg: OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.17-2.87; and 50 microg: OR, 2.72; 95% CI, 0.81-9.08). The OR was greater in oral contraceptives with a second-generation (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.28-3.25) vs a third-generation progestin (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 0.63-3.06). The OR increased with the duration of hormone replacement therapy (< or =5 years, OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 0.37-4.50; >5 years, OR, 2.56; 95% CI, 1.32-4.97).
Conclusion: Regular and long-term oral contraceptive use and hormone replacement therapy are associated with an increased risk for microalbuminuria and cardiovascular disease.