Vitamin E does not affect women’s heart failure risk

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Vitamin E does not affect women’s heart failure risk

21 March 2012

MedWire News: Vitamin E supplementation has no effect on women’s risk for developing heart failure (HF), US researchers say.

These results underscore the importance of focusing on other primary prevention measures proven to reduce the risk for HF, including blood pressure management and primary prevention of coronary artery disease, say Claudia Chae (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA) and team.

They examined the effect of vitamin E on HF risk in 39,815 women, aged at least 45 years, who were enrolled in the Women’s Health Study and free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline.

All women were randomly allocated to receive vitamin E 600 IU every other day (n=19,913) or placebo (n=19,902).

Over a median follow-up period of 10.2 years, 220 incident HF events occurred, 106 of which occurred in patients receiving vitamin E, and 114 of which occurred in those receiving placebo.

In proportional hazards models adjusting for age, randomized aspirin, and beta carotene treatment, vitamin E did not significantly affect HF risk.

This result did not significantly change after multivariate adjustment for other clinically relevant covariates and potential confounders, as well as additional control for interim myocardial infarction.

Vitamin E supplementation did not significantly affect the risk for systolic HF (incident HF in the setting of left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF] <50%).

However, it did lead to a significant 40% reduction in the risk for developing HF in the setting of normal EF (LVEF ≥50%; p=0.02).

“If the inverse association between vitamin E and diastolic HF is confirmed in other prospective studies, then future randomized trials of antioxidant therapy in patient populations at high risk for diastolic HF may be warranted,” say the authors.

“However, at the present time, the cumulative evidence to date does not support the use of vitamin E supplementation to reduce the risk of CVD,” they conclude in Circulation: Heart Failure.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

Circ Heart Fail 2012; Advance online publication

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