A U.S.-Canadian study finds that even low-dose oral contraceptives appear to increase women's risk of a heart attack or stroke. Dr. John Nestler and Dr. Paulina Essah of Virginia Commonwealth University and Dr. Jean-Patrice Baillargeon of the Universite de Sherbrooke analyzed the results of several studies published between 1980 and 2002. They determined that women using low-dose contraceptives have twice the risk of stroke or heart disease. Women with metabolic syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome are already at increased risk, Nestler said, and are only at greater risk if they are treated with low-dose contraceptives. He suggested that doctors consider less risky alternatives. Long-term use of oral contraceptives may also greatly increase risk, Nestler said. But he said that for most women the risk is still very low.