Markers for cardiovascular disease in monozygotic twins discordant for the use of third-generation oral contraceptives

R.J. Loos*, J. Verhaeghe, F. de Zegher, G. Beunen, C. Derom, R. Fagard, C. Mathieu, R.F.M. Vlietinck

*Corresponding author for this work

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Markers for cardiovascular disease in monozygotic twins discordant for the use of third-generation oral contraceptives.

Loos RJ, Verhaeghe J, De Zegher F, Beunen G, Derom C, Fagard R, Mathieu C, Vlietinck R.

Department of Sport and Movement Sciences, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.

Oral contraceptives (OC) modulate the risk for developing cardiovascular (CV) diseases. The aim of this study was to determine whether the use of third-generation OC has an impact on markers of CV disease in genetically identical women. We performed an intrapair comparison in 27 monozygotic twin pairs, one of whom was taking third-generation OC, whereas the other was not using OC. Biometric parameters were ascertained and conventional and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (BP) was recorded. A fasting blood sample was taken for the measurement of glucose, insulin, proinsulin, lipids, and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1). Insulin resistance and beta-cell function were calculated by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA). A 24-h urine sample for cortisol was obtained. Third-generation OC use increased 24-h ambulatory systolic and diastolic BP by 5.2 and 3.9 mmHg, respectively (both P=0.0003). There was no effect on glucose, insulin and proinsulin levels, and on HOMA parameters, but the IGFBP-1 levels were markedly raised (P=0.0009). The lipid profile showed a 34% increase in triglyceride levels (P < 0.0001), but also a 7% increase in HDL-cholesterol levels (P=0.037). Use of third-generation OC impacts on CV disease markers in young-adult genetically identical women. Some changes are beneficial (increased HDL-cholesterol), whereas others may be deleterious (increased BP and triglyceride levels) or have unknown effects at this time (increased IGFBP-1 levels).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-485
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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