Can Birth Control Pills Increase Your Lupus Risk?

side profile of serious looking woman( — A new study shows the increased risk of lupus could be found in birth control pills with higher doses.

“Women who take oral contraceptives have a 50% higher risk of having lupus than women who don’t take them,” says study researcher Samy Suissa, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at McGill University in Montreal.

But to put that in perspective, he says the overall risk is still small.

In the study, Suissa and colleagues also found the risk higher in women who take the higher dose pills — those with 50 micrograms of estrogen or more — and in women currently taking them who have just taken the pills for a few months.

The study is published in the April 15 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.