Multivitamins and Heart Attacks.




Journal of Nutrition

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Multivitamin
Professional Data: Multivitamin


According to the American Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, heart disease is the most common killer of American men and women. It is estimated that 1.1 million Americans suffer from heart attacks each year. Warning signs of heart attacks include chest discomfort including pressure, fullness or pain. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, light-headedness, nausea, or discomfort in the upper body. Although these symptoms may come about slowly, it is important to see a doctor, even if you are unsure that it is indeed a heart attack.

Although 460,000 of the attacks in Americans are fatal, research has shown many preventative measures that could possibly save lives by preventing these attacks. Even those already diagnosed with Coronary Heart Disease can lower attack risks. Such measures include quitting smoking, getting daily exercise, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight. Although there are some risk factors that cannot be controlled, such as age and family history, medical researchers are currently finding new evidence that may help protect against heart attacks.

A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition investigated a low dosage multivitamin and the possible role it could play in heart attack prevention. This study included 1296 non-fatal heart attack sufferers and 1685 healthy controls. These two groups were matched for their sex and age. Within the control group, 57% of women and 35% of the men used dietary supplements. In the heart attack group 42% of women and 27% of men used supplements. The researchers adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and exercise habits. The results showed that a low dose multivitamin may possibly aid in the primary prevention of heart attacks.1


1. Holmquest C, et al. Multivitamin Supplements Are Inversely Associated with Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men and Women—Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program (SHEEP). J Nutr. Aug 2003;133;2650-4.