Multivitamins reported to be ineffective in reducing stroke and heart attack risk

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2012-11-05 15:07

Many Americans take a daily multiple vitamin with the goal of improving their health. However, a large study has found that taking them does not reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke. Researchers presented their findings online on November 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and on November 5 at the American Heart Association scientific meeting, which runs from November 3 through November 7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The researchers noted that, although multivitamins are used to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiency, there is a perception that multivitamins may prevent cardiovascular disease. They explain that observational studies have shown inconsistent associations between regular multivitamin use and cardiovascular disease, with no long-term clinical trials of multivitamin use. Therefore, the investigators set out to determine whether long-term multivitamin supplementation decreases the risk of major cardiovascular events among men.

The researchers reviewed data from the Physicians' Health Study II, which was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a common daily multivitamin. The study began in 1997 and continued treatment and follow-up through June 1, 2011. Enrolled in the study were 14,641 male US physicians initially aged 50 years or older (average age: 64.3 years), including 754 men with a history of cardiovascular disease..

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The main outcome measures were composite end point of major cardiovascular events, including nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), nonfatal stroke, and cardiovascular disease mortality. Secondary outcomes included MI and stroke individually.

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