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Vitamin E did not prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer in healthy women

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 Q In healthy women ⩾ 45 years of age, how effective is vitamin E in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★☆☆ Internal medicine ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised placebo controlled trial (Women’s Health Study [WHS], a randomised 2 × 2 factorial trial).

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded {participants, healthcare providers, data collectors, and outcome assessors}.*

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

mean 10.1 years.

Embedded ImageSetting:

{a mail-based trial in female health professionals in the US}.

Embedded ImageParticipants:

39 876 women ⩾45 years of age (mean age 55 y) without previous history of cancer (except non-melanoma skin cancer), CVD, or other major chronic illness; no history of adverse effects to aspirin; not taking aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs more than once per week; not taking anticoagulants or corticosteroids; and not taking individual supplements of vitamin A, vitamin E, or β carotene more than once …

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  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.

  • For correspondence: Dr I M Lee, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. ilee{at}

  • Sources of funding: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and National Cancer Institute.

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