Multivitamins and Cardiovascular Disease

By Crystal H. Shelton, Senior Scientific Researcher

Cardiovascular disease has many risk factors, some of which can be controlled, such as cigarette smoking; and others which cannot, such as aging or a family history of cardiovascular disease. A new study has found there may be additional measures you can take to help reduce your risk of heart attack.

Multivitamins are intended to be taken in an effort to supplement the diet with vitamins and minerals that are not being acquired through food. It is well known that many people don’t eat well-balanced meals, and so don’t acquire necessary nutrients, therefore it’s easily stated that multivitamins qualify as one of the most important dietary supplements. Vitamins and minerals are the foundation of health and nutrition and are necessary for the body to carry out normal functions. Among the numerous general benefits, a new study reports that women may be able to reduce their risk of heart attack by taking a multivitamin daily.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionincluded over 30,000 women with no history of cardiovascular disease and about 2,200 women with a history of cardiovascular disease. Both sets of women, aged between 49-83 years old, were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their diet, lifestyle and use of dietary supplements. After a 10 year follow-up with the women, heart attacks were reported in 932 cases in the group with no history of heart disease and in 269 cases in the group with a history of heart disease. These reports also revealed an association of a 27% reduced risk of heart attack in women that took a multivitamin compared to those that did not take a multivitamin with no history of heart disease. Additionally, in this same group of women, those that took a multivitamin along with other supplements had a 30% reduced risk of heart attack. There was an even stronger link of reduced risk in those women who had taken a multivitamin for over five years or longer. In the group of women with a history of cardiovascular disease, taking a multivitamin did not appear to reduce the risk for heart attack. This study suggests that women with no history of heart disease may be able to reduce their risk of heart attack by using a multivitamin daily.

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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition