STOCKHOLM, Sweden–Low-dose multivitamins may prevent myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack, according to an epidemiological study out of the Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska Hospital. Researchers involved with the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program published their investigation in the August issue of the Journal of Nutrition (133, 8:2650-4, 2003) (www.nutrition.org).
Researchers examined the association between self-administered multivitamins and heart attack in subjects aged 45 to 70 living in Sweden, where consumption of fruits and vegetables is fairly low and foods are not fortified with folic acid.
The study included 1,296 cases involving a first nonfatal myocardial infarction and 1,685 controls matched for age, sex and other factors. Among control subjects, 57 percent of the women and 35 percent of the men used dietary supplements, while 42 percent of women and 27 percent of men who had had heart attacks used multivitamins.
The inverse association did not change when researchers adjusted for healthy lifestyle habits such as fruit and vegetable consumption, dietary fiber intake, smoking habits or physical activity.
Researchers concluded their findings showed low-dose multivitamins might aid in the primary prevention of myocardial infarction.