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Vitamins May Not Help Prevent Cardiovascular Events

Vitamin C, E and beta-carotene have no effect on cardiovascular event rates in high-risk women

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin C and other antioxidant vitamins do not help prevent cardiovascular events in women at high risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a report published Aug. 13 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Nancy R. Cook, Sc.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the effects of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene on cardiovascular events in high-risk women. The study included 8,171 women with a history of cardiovascular disease or three or more risk factors, randomized to receive a single vitamin, a combination of vitamins, or placebo.

During an average of 9.4 years of follow-up, 1,450 women experienced one or more cardiovascular disease outcomes of myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization or death. The researchers found no effect of vitamin C, vitamin E or beta-carotene on either the primary combined endpoint or individual endpoints considered separately.

"Consistent with other antioxidant trials, this study shows that vitamins C, E and beta-carotene do not alone, or in combination, increase or decrease the overall risk of cardiovascular events in women at high risk for cardiovascular disease," Cook noted in a statement.

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