Joseph E. Baggott, PhD
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed
Baggott JE. High-Dosage Vitamin E Supplementation and All-Cause Mortality. Ann Intern Med. 2005;143:155-156. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-143-2-200507190-00028
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(2):155-156.
TO THE EDITOR:
Before the public embraces Miller and colleagues' conclusions (1), several problems with their study should be addressed. First, factorial design data should not have been presented in Figure 3. The plot is much less convincing when data from Figure 4 are used. The SPACE study (2) is incorrectly listed as nonfactorial in Miller and colleagues' Table 1; 42% to 57% of the vitamin E and placebo groups were prescribed varying doses of vitamins (including 100 to 500 mg/d of ascorbic acid).
Second, the vitamin E group was overweighted for diseases and mortality risk factors in the high-dose Vitamin E, Cataracts, and Age-Related Maculopathy (VECAT) study (3) and CHAOS (4). In the VECAT study, patients in the vitamin E group were more likely to have diagnoses of ischemic heart disease (11.3% vs. 9.0%), diabetes (4.9% vs. 3.5%), and hypertension (38% vs. 33%) compared with patients in the placebo group.
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