In the Journals

Oral contraceptives may protect women from serious knee injuries

A recent study found that oral contraceptive pills may provide protection against anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injuries, particularly in young athletic women.

“Though ACL tears [affect] both male and female athletes, females have been shown to have two to eight times the risk of ACL injury when compared to their male counterparts, prompting some to suggest a hormonal influence,” Steven F. DeFroda, MD, of the department of orthopaedic surgery at Brown University, and colleagues wrote.

Researchers used the Humana data set within the PearlDriver database, which included patients insured between January 2007 and March 2017. Queries were performed in the database to identify female patients aged 15 to 49 years who took common combination oral contraception pills (OCPs) and those who did not. Patients who began taking OCPs within 1 year of experiencing ACL injury were identified and matched with female patients who did not take OCPs based on age, BMI and comorbidities.

Researchers used chi-squared testing to assess differences in ACL reconstruction rates among those who did and did not use OCPs based on age groups broken down into 5-year intervals.

Woman Running
A recent study found that oral contraceptive pills may provide protection against anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injuries, particularly in young athletic women.
Source: Shutterstock

The database search yielded 82,874 patients in each cohort. Among participants, 465 (0.56%) who took OCPs and 569 (0.69%) who did not take OCPs experienced an ACL tear that required reconstruction.

Patients aged 15 to 19 who did not take OCPs made up 29.35% of all ACL reconstructions, whereas patients in the same age group who did take OCPs made up 13.33% of all ACL reconstructions.

The risk of ACL reconstruction across all age groups was lower in those who took OCPs compared with those who did not (OR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.92).

The protective effect of OCP use was seen most in those aged 15 to 19 (OR = 0.37; 95% CI, 0.27–0.50). OCP use was tied to a 63% reduction in ACL tears among patients aged 15 to 19.

“Young athletes use oral contraceptives for a variety of reasons including regulating their menstrual cycle and/or preventing pregnancy,” DeFroda said in a press release. “With careful assessment of the risks, injury risk reduction could be another way in which female athletes may benefit from their use.” – by Erin Michael

Disclosures: DeFroda reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

A recent study found that oral contraceptive pills may provide protection against anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injuries, particularly in young athletic women.

“Though ACL tears [affect] both male and female athletes, females have been shown to have two to eight times the risk of ACL injury when compared to their male counterparts, prompting some to suggest a hormonal influence,” Steven F. DeFroda, MD, of the department of orthopaedic surgery at Brown University, and colleagues wrote.

Researchers used the Humana data set within the PearlDriver database, which included patients insured between January 2007 and March 2017. Queries were performed in the database to identify female patients aged 15 to 49 years who took common combination oral contraception pills (OCPs) and those who did not. Patients who began taking OCPs within 1 year of experiencing ACL injury were identified and matched with female patients who did not take OCPs based on age, BMI and comorbidities.

Researchers used chi-squared testing to assess differences in ACL reconstruction rates among those who did and did not use OCPs based on age groups broken down into 5-year intervals.

Woman Running
A recent study found that oral contraceptive pills may provide protection against anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injuries, particularly in young athletic women.
Source: Shutterstock

The database search yielded 82,874 patients in each cohort. Among participants, 465 (0.56%) who took OCPs and 569 (0.69%) who did not take OCPs experienced an ACL tear that required reconstruction.

Patients aged 15 to 19 who did not take OCPs made up 29.35% of all ACL reconstructions, whereas patients in the same age group who did take OCPs made up 13.33% of all ACL reconstructions.

The risk of ACL reconstruction across all age groups was lower in those who took OCPs compared with those who did not (OR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.92).

The protective effect of OCP use was seen most in those aged 15 to 19 (OR = 0.37; 95% CI, 0.27–0.50). OCP use was tied to a 63% reduction in ACL tears among patients aged 15 to 19.

“Young athletes use oral contraceptives for a variety of reasons including regulating their menstrual cycle and/or preventing pregnancy,” DeFroda said in a press release. “With careful assessment of the risks, injury risk reduction could be another way in which female athletes may benefit from their use.” – by Erin Michael

Disclosures: DeFroda reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.