Progestogen-only contraceptives and the risk of acute myocardial infarction: a meta-analysis

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Apr;96(4):1169-74. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-2065. Epub 2011 Feb 2.


Context: The association between combined oral contraceptives (OC) and the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) has been intensively studied, and conclusions are controversial. While progestogen-only contraceptives (POC) are commonly used worldwide, their impact on cardiovascular diseases is poorly investigated and remains unclear.

Objective: We carried out a meta-analysis based on EMBASE- and MEDLINE-referenced literature corresponding to OC marketed since 1960.

Methods: Eligible articles published in English language describing OC or POC use and MI outcome were reviewed, and relevant ones were extracted. All types of POC and route of administration were considered.

Results: Six case-control studies were identified. The combined odds ratio showed no increase in the MI risk with POC use (odds ratio = 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.62-1.84). This result was similar according to the route of administration, including implant, injectable, and oral POC.

Conclusion: Data from observational studies suggest no increase in risk of MI with POC use. However, these results are based on limited data. Further investigations are needed, especially among women at high MI risk.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / chemically induced*
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Progestins / administration & dosage
  • Progestins / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Factors


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Progestins