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Risk of thromboembolism in patients with COVID‐19 who are using hormonal contraception

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2023
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
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Title
Risk of thromboembolism in patients with COVID‐19 who are using hormonal contraception
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2023
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd014908.pub3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Shaalini Ramanadhan, Katie Hansen, Jillian T Henderson, Megan A Cohen, Robin Paynter, Alison Edelman

Abstract

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to significant mortality and morbidity, including a high incidence of related thrombotic events. There has been concern regarding hormonal contraception use during the COVID-19 pandemic, as this is an independent risk factor for thrombosis, particularly with estrogen-containing formulations. However, higher estrogen levels may be protective against severe COVID-19 disease. Evidence for risks of hormonal contraception use during the COVID-19 pandemic is sparse. We conducted a living systematic review that will be updated as new data emerge on the risk of thromboembolism with hormonal contraception use in patients with COVID-19. To determine if use of hormonal contraception increases risk of venous and arterial thromboembolism in women with COVID-19. To determine if use of hormonal contraception increases other markers of COVID-19 severity including hospitalization in the intensive care unit, acute respiratory distress syndrome, intubation, and mortality. A secondary objective is to maintain the currency of the evidence, using a living systematic review approach. ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Global Index Medicus, Global Health, and Scopus from inception on March 2023, and monitored the literature monthly. We updated the search strategies with new terms and added the database Global Index Medicus in lieu of LILACS. We included all published and ongoing studies of patients with COVID-19 comparing outcomes of those on hormonal contraception versus those not on hormonal contraception. This included case series and non-randomized studies of interventions (NRSI). One review author extracted study data and this was checked by a second author. Two authors individually assessed risk of bias for the comparative studies using the ROBINS-I tool and a third helped reconcile differences. For the living systematic review, we will publish updates to our synthesis every six months. In the event that we identify a study with a more rigorous study design than the current included evidence prior to the planned six-month update, we will expedite the synthesis publication. We included three comparative NRSIs with 314,704 participants total and two case series describing 13 patients. The three NRSIs had serious to critical risk of bias in several domains and low study quality. Only one NRSI ascertained current use of contraceptives based on patient report; the other two used diagnostic codes within medical records to assess hormonal contraception use, but did not confirm current use nor indication for use. None of the NRSIs included thromboembolism as an outcome. Studies were not similar enough in terms of their outcomes, interventions, and study populations to combine with meta-analyses. We therefore narratively synthesized all included studies. Based on results from one NRSI, there may be little to no effect of combined hormonal contraception use on odds of mortality for COVID-19 positive patients (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.41 to 2.40; 1 study, 18,892 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Two NRSIs examined hospitalization rates for hormonal contraception users versus non-users. Based on results from one NRSI, the odds of hospitalization for COVID-19 positive combined hormonal contraception users may be slightly decreased compared with non-users for patients with BMI under 35 kg/m2 (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.97; 1 study, 295,689 participants; very low-certainty evidence). According to results of the other NRSI assessing use of any type of hormonal contraception, there may be little to no effect on hospitalization rates for COVID-19 positive individuals (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.44; 1 study, 123 participants; very low-certainty evidence). We included two case series because no comparative studies directly assessed thromboembolism as an outcome. In a case series of six pediatric COVID-19 positive patients with pulmonary embolism, one (older than 15 years of age) was using combined hormonal contraception. In a second case series of seven COVID-19 positive patients with cerebral venous thrombosis, one was using oral contraceptives. One comparative study and one case series reported on intubation rates, but the evidence for both is very uncertain. In the comparative study of 123 COVID-19 positive patients (N = 44 using hormonal contraception and N = 79 not using hormonal contraception), no patients in either group required intubation. In the case series of seven individuals with cerebral venous thromboembolism, one oral contraceptive user and one non-user required intubation. There are no comparative studies assessing risk of thromboembolism in COVID-19 patients who use hormonal contraception, which was the primary objective of this review. Very little evidence exists examining the risk of increased COVID-19 disease severity for combined hormonal contraception users compared to non-users of hormonal contraception, and the evidence that does exist is of very low certainty. The odds of hospitalization for COVID-19 positive users of combined hormonal contraceptives may be slightly decreased compared with those of hormonal contraceptive non-users, but the evidence is very uncertain as this is based on one study restricted to patients with BMI under 35 kg/m2. There may be little to no effect of combined hormonal contraception use on odds of intubation or mortality among COVID-19 positive patients, and little to no effect of using any type of hormonal contraception on odds of hospitalization and intubation for COVID-19 patients. We noted no large effect for risk of increased COVID-19 disease severity among hormonal contraception users. We specifically noted gaps in pertinent data collection regarding hormonal contraception use such as formulation, hormone doses, and duration or timing of contraceptive use. Differing estrogens may have different thrombogenic potential given differing potency, so it would be important to know if a formulation contained, for example, ethinyl estradiol versus estradiol valerate. Additionally, we downgraded several studies for risk of bias because information on the timing of contraceptive use relative to COVID-19 infection and method adherence were not ascertained. No studies reported indication for hormonal contraceptive use, which is important as individuals who use hormonal management for medical conditions like heavy menstrual bleeding might have different risk profiles compared to individuals using hormones for contraception. Future studies should focus on including pertinent confounders like age, obesity, history of prior venous thromboembolism, risk factors for venous thromboembolism, and recent pregnancy.

X Demographics

X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 15 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 15 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 2 13%
Student > Master 2 13%
Other 1 7%
Librarian 1 7%
Student > Ph. D. Student 1 7%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 8 53%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 2 13%
Business, Management and Accounting 1 7%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 7%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 1 7%
Nursing and Health Professions 1 7%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 9 60%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 9. 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 01 July 2023.
All research outputs
#4,165,887
of 25,369,304 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#6,493
of 11,702 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#71,093
of 383,139 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#77
of 124 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,369,304 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 83rd percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,702 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 39.3. This one is in the 44th percentile – i.e., 44% 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 383,139 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 124 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 37th percentile – i.e., 37% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.