THURSDAY, June 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), continuous use of combined oral contraceptives (COC) is associated with increased bone mineral density (BMD), similar to that seen with high-dose hormone therapy (HT), according to a study published online June 22 in Menopause.

Lívia B. Carvalho Gazarra, from the University of Campinas in Brazil, and colleagues conducted an observational study of women with POI to compare the use of COC to the use of low-dose HT, high-dose HT, tibolone, or no treatment. Every two years, bone density scans were performed. For the lumbar spine, total femur, and femoral neck, the difference between final and initial BMD values was calculated. Overall, 420 scans of 119 women were analyzed.

The researchers found that in the COC and high-dose HT groups, the BMD deltas at the lumbar spine and total femur were greater. The differences between the two scans at the lumbar spine were greater in the COC group than the low-dose HT, untreated, and tibolone groups (mean differences, −0.043, −0.056, and −0.050, respectively). Compared with COC, the low-dose HT group had lower total femur BMD decreases and delta (−0.038).

“The use of COC on a continuous schedule could be associated with improvement in bone mass, as reflected in the results of the present study in which there was an increase in bone mass at least similar to that found with the higher dose of HT,” the authors write.

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