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Vitamin E May Protect Women Against Blood Clots

Supplement reduced risk of venous thromboembolism by 18 percent

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin E may protect women from the risk of venous thromboembolism, particularly those with a history of emboli or a genetic susceptibility, according to study findings published online Sept. 10 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Robert J. Glynn, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study of 39,876 women who were randomized to receive either 600 IU of natural source vitamin E or placebo on alternate days. Blood samples were provided by 26,779 subjects to determine two genetic polymorphisms known to increase susceptibility to venous thromboembolism.

Over the course of a mean 10.2 years follow-up, 482 women had a venous thromboembolism, including 213 in the vitamin E group and 269 in the placebo group. For women with no previous venous thromboembolism, vitamin E supplementation conferred an 18 percent hazard reduction. Women with a prior venous thromboembolism had a 44 percent reduction, and those with a genetic susceptibility had a 49 percent reduction.

"It seems that women who would particularly be interested in a preventive agent actually seemed to have a larger benefit," said Glynn, in a statement. However, until the findings can be confirmed by other studies, warfarin remains the gold standard therapy, he adds. "This is an exciting and interesting finding, but I don't think it's proven."

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