Oral contraceptives, cigarette smoking and other factors in relation to arthritis

Contraception. 1987 May;35(5):457-64. doi: 10.1016/0010-7824(87)90082-5.


The data on oral contraceptive use and arthritis in the Oxford-Family Planning Association contraceptive study have been analysed. For rheumatoid arthritis, the rate of first referral to hospital was 0.33 per 1000 woman-years in those who never used oral contraceptives (27 cases), 0.33 per 1000 woman-years in ex-users of oral contraceptives (29 cases) and 0.44 per 1000 woman-years in current users of oral contraceptives (22 cases). Likewise, there was no important association between oral contraceptive use and other forms of arthritis. An unexpected finding was a strong association between referral to hospital for rheumatoid arthritis and cigarette smoking; the rate in women never smoking was 0.27 per 1000 woman-years (34 cases) and in those smoking 15 or more cigarettes per day was 0.64 per 1000 woman-years (19 cases).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / chemically induced*
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / chemically induced*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk
  • Smoking*


  • Contraceptives, Oral