TUESDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- The use of progestin-estrogen oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) in women prior to becoming pregnant does not appear to increase the risk of adverse respiratory outcomes in offspring, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from March 18 to 22 in San Francisco.
In the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, Dana B. Hancock, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and colleagues prospectively evaluated associations between type of oral contraceptive used before pregnancy and lower respiratory tract infections in 60,225 children followed to 6 months of age, lower respiratory tract infections and wheezing in 42,520 children followed to 18 months of age, and asthma in 24,472 children followed to 36 months of age.
The investigators found that the use of progestin-estrogen OCPs was not associated with lower respiratory tract infections, wheezing, or asthma among offspring. However, progestin-only pill use in the year prior to pregnancy had a slight positive association with wheezing in children at 6 to 8 months of age (adjusted odds ratio, 1.19). The researchers note that the latter association may have been subject to residual confounding.
"These findings may provide reassurance to the vast majority of mothers using oral contraceptive pills before becoming pregnant and emphasizes the need to consider combined pills and progestin-only pills separately in future studies," the authors write.