In one of the largest ongoing studies of oral contraception use, more than 46,000 women were observed for 39 years.
Over the course of the study, there was a 12 per cent lower mortality rate among users of the oral conceptive pill compared with those who had never used it. This equated to 52 fewer deaths a year for every 100,000 women.
The study showed a slightly increased risk of death in users of oral contraception who were under 45 years. The researchers emphasised that the benefits seen in older women outweigh the slightly increased risk in the younger population.