A rise in blood pressure associated with oral contraceptives is well established but the frequency with which it develops is not known. Early results from a controlled long-term prospective study have shown no significant change in mean systolic or diastolic pressures or mean weight in 31 women after four months on oral contraceptives. In no individual subject was there a significant change in blood pressure or weight over the short period of the experiment.
In 10 women, oral contraceptives have been shown to induce a consistent rise in plasma renin substrate and cortisol concentrations after four weeks. At this time plasma renin concentration had fallen slightly in eight out of 10 women but neither plasma aldosterone nor plasma corticosterone showed any consistent response.
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