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Multivitamins ‘do not reduce major cardiovascular events’

Multivitamin supplements do not reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events in men and should only be taken if a patient’s nutritional status warrants it, say US researchers.

The 13-year study into 14,461 men aged over 50 years, randomised to receive either a multivitamin or placebo, found a non-significant difference of 1% between the two groups in the risk of major cardiovascular events.

Patients were excluded if they reported taking anticoagulants or a history of liver cirrhosis.

There was also no difference in the risk of myocardial infarction, with only a non-significant 7% decrease in risk for those taking multivitamin compared to men on placebo.

The difference in total stroke risk between the multivitamin group, compared with the placebo group, was also non-significant between the two groups, despite a 6% increase in risk for participants taking multivitamins.

The authors concluded: ‘These data do not support multivitamin use to prevent cardiovascular disease. Whether to take a daily multivitamin mmummrequires consideration of an individual’s nutritional status.’

JAMA 2012, available online 5 November