Vitamin Supplements Associated With Increased Risk for Death

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October 10, 2011 — In women aged 55 to 69 years, several widely used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements, especially supplemental iron, may be associated with increased risk for death, according to new findings from the Iowa Women's Health Study.

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From Medscape Medical News Vitamin Supplements Associated With Increased Risk for DeathEmma Hitt, PhDOctober 10, 2011 In women aged 55 to 69 years, several widely used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements, especially supplemental iron, may be associated with increased risk for death, according to new findings from the Iowa Women's Health Study.Although many vitamin supplements did not appear to be associated with a higher risk for total mortality, several were, including multivitamins, vitamins B6, and folic acid, as well as minerals iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper.Jaakko Mursu, PhD, from the Department of Health Sciences, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, Finland, and colleagues reported their findings in the October 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine."Supplements are widely used, and further studies regarding their health effects are needed," Dr. Mursu and colleagues write. "Also, little is known about the long-term effects of multivitamin use and less commonly used supplements, such as iron and other minerals."The current study sought to evaluate the link between supplement use and total mortality rate, using data from the Iowa Women's Health Study. A total of 38,772 older women were included in the analysis. Women were aged between 55 to 69 years, with an average of 61.6 years at the beginning of the study in 1986. Self-reported data on vitamin supplement use were collected in 19

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