#87 Daily multivitamins to reduce mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer
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- No effect on overall mortality: Relative Risk (RR)=0.98 (0.94-1.02).
- No effect on cancer mortality: RR=0.96 (0.88-1.04).
- No effect on CVD mortality: RR=1.01 (0.93-1.09).
- Multiple subgroup testing found no differences.
- No evidence of publication bias or meaningful heterogeneity.
- No effect on overall mortality: Hazard Ratio (HR)=0.94 (0.88-1.02).
- No effect on cancer mortality: HR=0.88 (0.77-1.01).
- No effect on CVD mortality: HR=0.95 (0.83-1.09).
- No effect on CVD events: HR=1.01 (0.91-1.10).
- Reduced cancer incidence: HR=0.92 (0.86-0.998).
- These were adjusted (for unclear reasons).
- Unadjusted is not significant RR=0.94 (0.87-1.003).
- Multiple issues: Lots of exclusion including run-in to remove non-compliant patients, adjustments (without clear reason) always in favor of multivitamins.
- Multiple cohort studies have found no mortality reduction with multivitamins.
- Vitamin supplementation may help reduce overall mortality in undernourished populations (like rural China). 8
- However, in this RCT8 of four different vitamin interventions, only one reduced mortality RR=0.91 (0.84-0.99).
- Meta-analyses of different vitamin components on mortality:
- B-Vitamins:9 No effect.
- Anti-oxidants:10 Increase mortality RR=1.04 (1.01-1.07).
- Increase with vitamin E, beta-carotene and high-dose vitamin A.
- No effect from vitamin C and selenium.
- Vitamin D:11 Decrease mortality RR=0.97 (0.94-1.00)
- Increases and decreases are small [Numbers Needed to Harm (NNH) or treat around 200 over five years].