Vitamin E linked with haemorrhagic stroke
By Nigel Praities
Patients should be warned against taking vitamin E supplements due to an increased risk of haemorrhagic stroke, a major analysis concludes.
American and European researchers looked at data from nine randomised clinical trials, involving nearly 120,000 patients, and calculated the excess stroke risk associated with vitamin E supplementation, compared with placebo.
The meta-analysis found overall vitamin E was not associated with an increased risk of stroke, compared with placebo. But when the results were divided into the type of stroke, the researchers found a 22% increased risk of haemorrhagic stroke but a 10%risk reduction for ischaemic stroke for vitamin E treatment versus placebo.
The authors concluded that although the increased risk was small, the seriousness of haemorrhagic stroke meant caution was needed.
Study leader Dr Markus Schürks, a neurologist at Harvard Medical School, said: ‘Because the effects of haemorrhagic stroke are generally more severe than those of ischaemic stroke and high doses of vitamin E supplements may increase all-cause mortality, a widespread and medically uncontrolled use of vitamin E should be cautioned.'