Multivitamin Use and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Men

J Nutr. 2016 Jun;146(6):1235-40. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.227884. Epub 2016 Apr 27.


Background: Although multivitamins are widely used by US adults, few prospective studies have investigated their association with the long- and short-term risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate how multivitamin use is associated with the risk of CVD in initially healthy men at baseline.

Methods: We studied 18,530 male physicians aged ≥40 y from the Physicians' Health Study I cohort who were free of CVD and cancer at baseline (1982). All men provided a wide range of self-reported lifestyle and clinical factors plus intake of selected foods and dietary supplements. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate multivariable-adjusted HRs (95% CIs).

Results: During a mean follow-up of 12.2 y (total of 225,287 person-years), there were 1697 incident cases of major CVD (defined as nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, and CVD death). In multivariable-adjusted analyses, no significant associations were observed among baseline multivitamin users compared with nonusers for the risk of major CVD events (HR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.84, 1.05), whereas a self-reported duration of ≥20 y at baseline was associated with lower risk (HR: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.35, 0.90; P-trend = 0.05). Baseline multivitamin use was also significantly inversely associated with the risk of cardiac revascularization (HR: 0.86; 95% CI: 0.75, 0.98). Baseline use of multivitamins was not significantly associated with other CVD endpoints.

Conclusion: In this long-term prospective study in initially healthy men, multivitamin use for ≥20 y was associated with a lower risk of major CVD events.

Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; epidemiology cohort; multivitamin supplements; nutrition; prevention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*


  • Vitamins