Hormonal contraceptive (HC) use may increase cardiometabolic risk; however, the effect of HC on emerging cardiometabolic and other disease risk factors is not clear.
To determine the association between HC use and plasma proteins involved in established and emerging disease risk pathways.
Concentrations of 54 high-abundance plasma proteins were measured simultaneously by LC-MRM/MS in 783 women from the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study. C-reactive protein (CRP) was measured separately. ANCOVA was used to test differences in protein concentrations between users and non-users, and among HC users depending on total hormone dose. Linear regression was used to test the association between duration (years) of HC use and plasma protein concentrations. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to identify plasma proteomic profiles in users and non-users.
After Bonferroni correction, 19 proteins involved in inflammation, innate immunity, coagulation and blood pressure regulation were significantly different between users and non-users (
HC use was associated with different concentrations of plasma proteins along various disease-related pathways, and these differences were present across different ethnicities. Aside from the known effect of HC on traditional biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk, HC use also affects numerous proteins that may be biomarkers of dysregulation in inflammation, coagulation and blood pressure.