Women taking oral contraceptives beginning in the 1960's lived longer than those who didn't, researchers found, according to the British Medical Journal.

Researchers concluded that in the full dataset, all cause mortality in users of the contraceptives was 12 percent lower.

Since 1968, researchers studied 46,112 women in the United Kingdom for up to 39 years.

women taking the contraceptives showed significant lower rates of deaths from all cancers; cancer of the large bowel/rectum, uterine body or ovaries, the study said.

Researchers noted the study's findings might not reflect the experience of women using oral contraceptives today because currently available preparations may have a different risk than earlier products and patterns of usage may affect mortality risk.