Can the Birth Control Pill Make You Live Longer?

| Fri Mar. 12, 2010 4:16 PM EST

Everyone knows the birth control pill is a powerful contraceptive. But there may be another benefit to the little blue tablet: Longer life.

According to a British study of more than 46,000 women over the course of nearly four decades, taking the pill on average reduces a woman's risk of death by 12 percent from such conditions as heart disease, circulatory disease, and bowel, uterine, and ovarian cancer.

The study comes with a few caveats: Surprisingly, women under age 30 who take the pill are three times more likely to die. And researchers noted their results could partly be attributed to pill-users being more healthy in general.

Still, though—more proof that family planning is always a good idea (are you listening, John Boehner?)

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