MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of American men take them, but a new study finds multivitamins will do nothing to help stave off heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
The study tracked the cardiovascular outcomes of almost 15,000 older male physicians for more than a decade and found no benefit from multivitamin use across a wide range of cardiovascular outcomes.
"I think that people take for granted the idea that, 'You take a supplement, it must be good for you somehow,'" said study lead author Howard Sesso, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in Boston. "In fact, unless you do trials like this, that's really the only definitive way to provide evidence-based medicine to make the right decisions for patients."
Sesso and colleagues presented their findings Sunday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Los Angeles. The study is also being published online Nov. 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and will appear in the journal's Nov. 7 print edition.
The new findings are based on an analysis of data from the Physicians Health Study II, which has tracked the ongoing health of a pool of 14,641 male doctors since 1997. All of the men were at least 50 years of age when they enrolled in the study.
Participants were randomly assigned to take either a daily multivitamin or an inactive placebo. The multivitamin used was Centrum Silver. The study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and BASF Corp. Multivitamins were supplied by Pfizer, which makes Centrum Silver.
Over an average follow-up of 11.2 years, Sesso's team found no difference between multivitamin users and nonusers in the risk for major cardiovascular events including cardiovascular death, nonfatal heart attack or nonfatal stroke. Speaking at an AHA news briefing on Sunday, Sesso said that it didn't matter if the man ha
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