Washington: A new study has revealed that women who take oral contraceptives are at higher risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).
However, researchers said that the findings do not mean women should stop using birth control, Fox News reported.
The researchers, who utilized membership data from Kaiser Permanente Southern California, analyzed the health records of 305 women aged 14 to 48 who were diagnosed with MS or its precursor, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), between 2008 and 2011.
The researchers found a 30 percent increased risk of developing MS amongst women who had at least three months of oral contraceptive use, compared to a control group of 3,050 women who did not have MS.
The study's author Dr. Kerstin Hellwig, a post-doctoral research fellow at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, said they found that 29.2 percent of women with MS used birth control before their diagnoses, while 23 percent of women in the healthy control group used birth control- showing an increased risk with higher use of the drug.
It was found that women who did not currently use an oral contraceptive but had in some time in the three years prior to being diagnosed, was also a slightly higher risk.
The study will be presented at the upcoming American Academy of Neurology's Annual Meeting.