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Obesity increases risk factor for rare types of stroke in women

Obese women who use the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) are at an increased risk of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), compared with their normal weight peers that do not use the OCP. Researchers from the Netherlands conducted a small study into the associations between weight, OCP and CVT. They found an almost 30-fold increased risk in obese women taking OCP when compared to normal weight women not taking OCP. CVT is a rare condition that mainly affects young adults and children, it is known that OCP contributes to an increased risk for its development, but no studies so far have been carried out into the associations with obesity.

The authors say that the links that they have shown may make doctors reluctant to prescribe OCP to obese women, however although the relative risks have increased dramatically, the absolute risks are still small. Furthermore, by withholding the prescription of OCP there may be an increase in pregnancies, which will carry a host of further health risks such as pregnancy-related thrombosis. The researchers also go on to say that according to their data, obese women should be informed of the risk and it is then up to them whether they would like to take it or not.

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