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Author Topic: Dietary supplements linked to increased death risk in older women  (Read 1754 times)
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Francis Umeoguaju
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« on: October 22, 2011, 07:35:42 am »


Consuming dietary supplements, including multivitamins, folic acid, iron and copper, among others, appears to be associated with an increased risk of death in older women, according to a report in the October 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
The use of dietary supplements in the United States has increased considerably over the last decade, according to background information in the article. “At the population level, dietary supplements contributed substantially to the total intake of several nutrients, particularly in elderly individuals,” the authors write.
Dr. Jaakko Mursu of the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland, and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and colleagues used data collected during the Iowa Women’s Health Study to examine the association between vitamin and mineral supplements and mortality (death) rate among 38,772 older women (average age 61.6 years). Supplement use was self-reported in 1986, 1997 and 2004 via questionnaires.
Among the 38,772 women who started follow-up with the first survey in 1986, 15,594 deaths (40.2 per cent) occurred over an average follow-up time of 19 years. Self-reported supplement use increased substantially between 1986 and 2004, with 62.7 per cent of women reporting use of at least one supplement daily in 1986, 75.1 per cent in 1997 and 85.1 per cent in 2004.
The authors found that use of most supplements was not associated with reduced total mortality in older women, and many supplements appeared associated with increased mortality risk. After adjustment, use of multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper, were all associated with increased risk of death in the study population.

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