-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- A woman's use of birth
control pills before pregnancy does not increase the risk of
respiratory problems in her children, according to a new study.
Some studies have suggested that a mother's use of birth control
pills may increase the risk of asthma in children, but the data is
limited and inconclusive, said the authors of the new study.
The researchers examined the link between the type of birth
control pill used by Norwegian mothers before pregnancy and lower
respiratory tract infections in 60,225 children followed until the
age of 6 months, lower respiratory tract infections and wheezing in
42,520 children followed to 18 months old, and asthma in 24,472
children followed until age 3.
The investigators found no association between the use of
estrogen-progestin combined pills prior to pregnancy and lower
respiratory tract infections, wheezing or asthma in children. There
was a small association between the use of progestin-only pills in
the year before pregnancy and wheezing in children at 6 to 8
months, although this type of pill was not commonly used, the study
The study was scheduled for presentation Monday at the annual
meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
(AAAAI), held in San Francisco.
"We found that use of the combined pill, taken by most women who use [oral contraceptive pills], was not associated with adverse respiratory outcomes in the offspring. This should provide reassurance to the vast majority of women using [oral contraceptives] during their childbearing years," senior author Dr. Stephanie J. London, principal investigator at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, said in an AAAAI news release.
"The small association with the much less commonly used progestin-only pill may not reflect cause and effect but does suggest that researchers look at these two types of pills separately in the future," she added.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
The American Lung Association has more about
asthma and children.
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