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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Steroidal contraceptives and bone fractures in women: evidence from observational studies

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2015
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  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (69th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 policy source
1 tweeter


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193 Mendeley
Steroidal contraceptives and bone fractures in women: evidence from observational studies
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd009849.pub3
Pubmed ID

Laureen M Lopez, Mario Chen, Sarah Mullins Long, Kathryn M. Curtis, Frans M Helmerhorst


Age-related decline in bone mass increases the risk of skeletal fractures, especially those of the hip, spine, and wrist. Steroidal contraceptives have been associated with changes in bone mineral density in women. Whether such changes affect the risk of fractures later in life is unclear. Hormonal contraceptives are among the most effective and most widely-used contraceptives. Concern about fractures may limit the use of these effective contraceptives. Observational studies can collect data on premenopausal contraceptive use as well as fracture incidence later in life. We systematically reviewed the evidence from observational studies of hormonal contraceptive use for contraception and the risk of fracture in women. Through June 2015, we searched for observational studies. The databases included PubMed, POPLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), LILACS, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science. We also searched for recent clinical trials through ClinicalTrials.gov and the ICTRP. For other studies, we examined reference lists of relevant articles and wrote to investigators for additional reports. We included cohort and case-control studies of hormonal contraceptive use. Interventions included comparisons of a hormonal contraceptive with a non-hormonal contraceptive, no contraceptive, or another hormonal contraceptive. The primary outcome was the risk of fracture. Two authors independently extracted the data. One author entered the data into RevMan, and a second author verified accuracy. We examined the quality of evidence using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale (NOS), developed for case-control and cohort studies. Sensitivity analysis included studies of moderate or high quality based on our assessment with the NOS.Given the need to control for confounding factors in observational studies, we used adjusted estimates from the models as reported by the authors. Where we did not have adjusted analyses, we calculated the odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Due to varied study designs, we did not conduct meta-analysis. We included 14 studies (7 case-control and 7 cohort studies). These examined oral contraceptives (OCs), depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), and the hormonal intrauterine device (IUD). This section focuses on the sensitivity analysis with six studies that provided moderate or high quality evidence.All six studies examined oral contraceptive use. We noted few associations with fracture risk. One cohort study reported OC ever-users had increased risk for all fractures (RR 1.20, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.34). However, a case-control study with later data from a subset reported no association except for those with 10 years or more since use (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.03 to 2.33). Another case-control study reported increased risk only for those who had 10 or more prescriptions (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.16). A cohort study of postmenopausal women found no increased fracture risk for OC use after excluding women with prior fracture. Two other studies found little evidence of association between OC use and fracture risk. A cohort study noted increased risk for subgroups, such as those with longer use or specific intervals since use. A case-control study reported increased risk for any fracture only among young women with less than average use.Two case-control studies also examined progestin-only contraceptives. One reported increased fracture risk for DMPA ever-use (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.06), more than four years of use (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.32 to 3.53), and women over 50 years old. The other reported increased risk for any past use, including one or two prescriptions (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.29) and for current use of 3 to 9 prescriptions (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.60) or 10 or more (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.33 to 1.78). For the levonorgestrel-releasing IUD, one study reported reduced fracture risk for ever-use (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.87) and for longer use. Observational studies do not indicate an overall association between oral contraceptive use and fracture risk. Some reported increased risk for specific user subgroups. DMPA users may have an increased fracture risk. One study indicated hormonal IUD use may be associated with decreased risk. Observational studies need adjusted analysis because the comparison groups usually differ. Investigators should be clear about the variables examined in multivariate analysis.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 193 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 192 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 36 19%
Student > Bachelor 33 17%
Researcher 24 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 21 11%
Student > Postgraduate 9 5%
Other 32 17%
Unknown 38 20%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 75 39%
Nursing and Health Professions 19 10%
Psychology 11 6%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 9 5%
Social Sciences 8 4%
Other 25 13%
Unknown 46 24%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 4. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 February 2019.
All research outputs
of 17,356,510 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,661 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 241,351 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 260 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,356,510 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 69th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,661 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 25.0. This one is in the 32nd percentile – i.e., 32% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 241,351 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 260 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 21st percentile – i.e., 21% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.