The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) is an awesome study in that it has turned out alot of useful information for women over the past few years.
This week, WHI researchers report that Vitamin E supplements do not protect healthy women against heart attacks and stroke.
The vitamin E results of the WHI study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, also say that there was no effect of vitamin E on total cancer or on the most common cancers in women — breast, lung, and colon cancers.
The press statement at the National Institutes of Health states that the WHI study was conducted between 1992 and 2004. The participants were 39,876 healthy women age 45 years and older who were randomly assigned to receive 600 IU of Vitamin E or placebo and low-dose aspirin or placebo on alternate days. The participants were followed for an average of 10.1 years.
In fact, the statement says, the aspirin results published last March found no benefit of aspirin (100 mg every other day) in preventing first heart attacks or death from cardiovascular causes in women but did find a reduced risk of stroke overall, as well as reduced risk of both stroke and heart attack in women aged 65 and older.
The results from this study, and other studies that look at protecting women's hearts, can be somewhat confusing when you want to apply the findings to your own particular situation. This is when it is really helpful to have your own physician look at your medical history and help you interpret what steps to take.
You can also check out the NIH press release for more information from the study.