Objective: To assess the relationship between venous thromboembolic disease (VTE) and use of low-estrogen dose (<50 microg) combined estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives (OC) and three thrombosis-related gene mutations in a United States population.
Design: This case-control study was conducted in 1998-2000 among women ages 15-44 years who were members of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program [KPMCP] (Northern and Southern California). Cases were women with incident VTE; about three times as many women frequency matched for age were randomly selected as controls from the KPMCP membership in the same years. Data were collected in a 1 h face-to-face interview; blood was drawn to extract DNA to test for gene polymorphisms. The analysis data set comprised 196 cases (mean age 35.3 years) and 746 controls (mean age 36.2 years).
Results: The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for VTE associated with current OC use was 4.07 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.77-6.00). The OR associated with OC use was higher for women who were obese than in the nonobese (p = 0.01 for likelihood test for interaction) and in women without predisposing medical conditions (p = 0.02 for interaction). The adjusted OR for VTE was 7.10 (95% CI: 2.33-21.61) in women with factor V Leiden (G1691A) mutation, 2.83 (95% CI: 0.70-11.63) in women with prothrombin G20210A mutation and 0.26 (95% CI: 0.10-0.65) in women with the MTHFR C677T mutation. The OR for VTE in OC users with factor V Leiden mutation (11.32) was elevated more than in OC users without the mutation (3.20) and women with the mutation who were non-OC users (8.42), but confidence intervals overlapped.
Conclusions: The risk of VTE is increased in users of low-estrogen OC formulations. Obese women appear to be at greater risk of VTE when using OCs.