Tuesday, April 21, 2015. An article published online on March 31, 2015 in the American Heart Association journal Stroke reveals a reduction in stroke deaths among older users of multivitamin supplements.
The current study included 72,180 men and women between the ages of 40 and 79 years upon enrollment in the Japan Collaborative Cohort study, which was designed to evaluate the impact of lifestyle factors on health. Dietary questionnaires administered at the beginning of the study collected information on multivitamin use and other data. Subjects were followed for a median of 19.1 years, during which there were 1,148 deaths from ischemic stroke, 877 deaths caused by hemorrhagic stroke and 62 unspecified stroke deaths.
Thirteen percent of the subjects reported multivitamin use. The adjusted risk of overall stroke mortality among multivitamin users was 13% lower than nonusers and the risk of dying from ischemic stroke was 20% lower. Among the 49.2% of subjects who consumed fruit and vegetables less than three times per day, regular use of a multivitamin was associated with a 33% reduction in overall stroke death compared to a 14% lower risk experienced by casual users. When the risk of ischemic stroke death among those with a low intake of fruit and vegetables was examined, regular multivitamin users had less than half the risk of nonusers.
"From this prospective cohort study, we found that multivitamin use, particularly frequent use, was associated with reduced risk of total and ischemic stroke mortality among Japanese people with lower intake of fruits and vegetables," Jia-Yi Dong and colleagues conclude. "This finding supports a beneficial role of multivitamin use among people with insufficient nutrient intakes."