Vitamin E supplement use and the incidence of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in the Framingham Heart Study: Does the underlying health status play a role?


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Observational studies generally showed beneficial associations between supplemental vitamin E intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk whereas intervention trials reported adverse effects of vitamin E supplements. We hypothesize that these discordant findings result from differing underlying health status of study participants in observational and intervention studies. OBJECTIVE: Determine if the relation between supplemental vitamin E intake and CVD and all-cause mortality (ACM) depends on pre-existing CVD. DESIGN: Proportional hazards regression to relate supplemental vitamin E intake to the 10-year incidence of CVD and ACM in 4270 Framingham Study participants stratified by baseline CVD status. RESULTS: Eleven percent of participants used vitamin E supplements at baseline. In participants with pre-existing CVD, there were 28 (44%) and 20 (32%) incident cases of CVD and ACM in the vitamin E supplement users versus 249 (47%) and 202 (38%) in the non-users, respectively (CVD HR, 0.90; 95% CL, 0.60-1.32; ACM HR, 0.74; 95% CL, 0.46-1.17). In participants without pre-existing CVD, there were 51 (13%) and 47 (12%) cases of CVD and ACM in the vitamin E supplement group versus 428 (13%) and 342 (10%) in the non-vitamin E supplement group, respectively (CVD HR, 1.00; 95% CL, 0.75-1.34; ACM HR 1.20; 95% CL, 0.89-1.64). CONCLUSION: CVD status has no apparent influence on the association of supplemental vitamin E intake and risk for CVD and ACM in this large, community-based study. Further research is needed to clarify the basis for the discrepant results between intervention and observational studies of supplemental vitamin E intake.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dietrich, M; Jacques, PF; Pencina, MJ; Lanier, K; Keyes, MJ; Kaur, G; Wolf, PA; D'Agostino, RB; Vasan, RS

Published Date

  • August 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 205 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 549 - 553

PubMed ID

  • 19195657

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19195657

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1484

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2008.12.019


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Ireland