Vitamin E Does Not Reduce Risk of Heart Failure in Women

Long-term treatment not linked to heart failure risk in initially healthy women

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- In a population of healthy women, long-term treatment with vitamin E is not associated with the risk of developing heart failure, according to a study published in the March issue of Circulation: Heart Failure.

Claudia U. Chae, M.D., M.P.H., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the effect of vitamin E on the risk of heart failure in 39,815 initially healthy women 45 years of age or older enrolled in the Women's Health Study. Women were randomly assigned to receive 600 international units of vitamin E every other day or placebo.

During a median follow-up of 10.2 years, the investigators identified 220 incident heart failure events. Vitamin E assignment did not significantly affect the risk of heart failure (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.71 to 1.21; P = 0.59) in a model adjusting for age, randomized aspirin treatment, and randomized beta carotene treatment. Adjustment for other factors, including interim myocardial infarction, did not affect the results. In a pre-specified subgroup analysis there was an inverse association between vitamin E and developing heart failure with normal ejection fraction, with a hazard ratio of 0.59 (P = 0.02); but no statistically significant effect was seen on the risk of systolic heart failure (hazard ratio, 1.26; 95 percent CI, 0.84 to 1.89; P = 0.26).

"Long-term treatment with vitamin E did not affect the overall risk of incident heart failure in this randomized trial of initially healthy women," the authors write. "At the present time, the cumulative evidence to date does not support the use of vitamin E supplementation to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases."

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