Meta Analysis: Effect of Oral Contraceptives on Obesity in Fertile Age Women in Asia

Muhammad Zia Ulhaq, Eti Poncorini Pamungkasari, Bhisma Murti


Background: Obesity is a disease with a com­plex (multi-causal) cause because it involves genetic and environmental factors. Some of them are heredity, individual socio-economic factors, eating patterns (habits), food con­sump­tion, physical activity, hormonal, nutri­tional knowledge, and perception. This study aimed to analyze the effect of oral contraceptives on obesity in women of childbearing age.

Subjects and Method: This was a meta ana­lysis and systematic review from several obser­vational studies. The articles were collected from PubMed, Google Scholar, and Springer­link databases, published from 2000-2020. Data collection used eligibility criteria, inclu­ding population (P): women of reproductive age, intervention (I): oral contraceptive, com­parison (C): non oral contraceptive, and out­come (O): obesity. Keywords used “pil contra­ception” OR “Pil Contraceptive” AND “Oral Contraceptive” OR “Oral Contraception” AND “Obesity” OR “Overweight” AND“ Cross sectio­nal” AND “Cohort” AND “Adjusted Odds Ratio”. Selected articles were full text of obser­vational study. These articles were selected by PRISMA flow diagram. Quantitative synthesis was conducted using Review Manager 5.3 program.

Results: A total of 3 articles reviewed in a meta-analysis with subgroup analysis using an observational cohort design showed that oral contraceptives increased the risk of obesity in women of reproductive age (aOR= 1.14, 95% CI= 1.03-1.26, p<0.001). A meta-analysis of 4 articles that conducted a subgroup analysis with a cross sectional observational design also showed that oral contraceptives increased the risk of obesity in women of childbearing age (aOR= 1.52; 95% CI= 0.78-298; p <0.001). This meta-analysis combines primary research from Korea, India, Canada, Congo, and the United States of America.

Conclusion: Oral contraceptives increase the risk of obesity.

Keywords: oral contraception, obesity

Correspondence: Muhammad Zia Ulhaq. Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Jl. Ir. Sutami 36A, Surakarta 57126, Central Java. Email:

Journal of Maternal and Child Health (2020), 05(06): 673-682

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