Antioxidant vitamins supplementation and mortality: A randomized trial in head and neck cancer patients
Article first published online: 13 JUL 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
International Journal of Cancer
Volume 119, Issue 9, pages 2221–2224, 1 November 2006
How to Cite
Bairati, I., Meyer, F., Jobin, E., Gélinas, M., Fortin, A., Nabid, A., Brochet, F. and Têtu, B. (2006), Antioxidant vitamins supplementation and mortality: A randomized trial in head and neck cancer patients. Int. J. Cancer, 119: 2221–2224. doi: 10.1002/ijc.22042
- Issue published online: 31 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 13 JUL 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 FEB 2006
- Manuscript Received: 13 DEC 2005
- National Cancer Institute of Canada with funds from the Canadian Cancer Society. Grant Numbers: 4738, 8176, 13211
- randomized trial;
- antioxidant vitamins;
There has been concern that long-term supplementation with high-dose antioxidant vitamins, especially vitamin E (α-tocopherol), may increase all-cause mortality. We conducted a randomized controlled trial with α-tocopherol (400 IU/day) and β-carotene (30 mg/day) supplements among 540 head and neck cancer patients treated by radiation therapy. Supplementation with β-carotene was discontinued during the trial. The supplements were given during radiation therapy and for 3 additional years. During the follow-up (median 6.5 years), 179 deaths were recorded. All death certificates were obtained. All-cause and cause-specific mortality rates were compared between the 2 arms of the trial by Cox regression. All-cause mortality was significantly increased in the supplement arm: hazard ratio: 1.38, 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.85. Cause-specific mortality rates tended to be higher in the supplement arm than in the placebo arm. Our results concur with previous reports to suggest that high-dose vitamin E could be harmful. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.