Combined hormonal contraceptives use and bone mineral density changes in adolescent and young women in a prospective population-based Canada-wide observational study. Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: To assess combined hormonal contraceptives (CHC) use and adolescent women's peak areal bone mineral density (BMD) accrual. METHODS: We enrolled 527 randomly selected women across Canada (2004-6) divided by age into adolescents (16-19) and young adults (20-24) and by CHC use to ever (E-CHC)/never (N-CHC) users. At baseline and year 2 we measured height, weight, and BMD at lumbar spine (L1-4), femoral neck, and total hip sites. Interviewer-administered questionnaires addressed menarche age, cigarette and alcohol use, calcium/vitamin D intakes, physical activity and estrogen dose (≤30/>30 micrograms). Linear regression models examined associations of CHC use with 2-year BMD change adjusted for bone-related variables. RESULTS: Of 307 women with complete data, 229 (75%) used CHC. N-CHC adolescents gained significantly more unadjusted total hip BMD +0.012 g/cm2/2-y (95% C.I.: 0.001, 0.023) with similar trends at all sites. N-CHC adolescents tended to have greater adjusted femoral neck BMD gain: mean difference +0.009 g/cm2 (95% CI: -0.002; 0.021). In young women N-CHC, however, adjusted femoral neck BMD decreased significantly more -0.021 g/cm2 (95%CI: -0.006; -0.036) with similar trends at other sites. BMD changes were unrelated to estrogen dose and age at starting CHC. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent CHC users in a random population demonstrated less hip region peak BMD accrual than non-users. This requires randomized control trial confirmation.


  • Brajic, Tatjana S
  • Berger, Claudie
  • Schlammerl, Katharina
  • Macdonald, Heather
  • Kalyan, Shirin
  • Hanley, David A
  • Adachi, Jonathan Derrick
  • Kovacs, Christopher S
  • Prior, Jerilynn C
  • CaMos Research Group

publication date

  • June 1, 2018