Skip to content

    COPD Health Center

    Font Size

    Vitamin E May Lower Women's Lung Disease Risk

    Study Finds Slight Reduction in COPD Risk in Women Who Regularly Take Vitamin E Supplements

    Vitamin E and Women's COPD Risk

    Agler and her co-researchers analyzed data that had already been gathered for the Women's Health Study. The long-term research effort ended in 2004 and focused on what effects aspirin and vitamin E had in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer in nearly 40,000 women, age 45 and older.

    During that study, women were randomly assigned to groups that took either 600 IU of vitamin E every other day, 100 milligrams of aspirin every other day, or placebo. None of the women had COPD at the start of the study.

    During the nearly 10-year follow-up, there were 760 new reports of COPD in the vitamin E group and 846 in the placebo group, translating to a 10% risk reduction for the supplement group.

    The effect held when Agler considered a number of other factors, including smoking status, age, and multivitamin use.

    Even though the vitamin E reduced the overall risk of COPD in both smokers and nonsmokers, the current smokers were more than four times as likely as never smokers to get COPD, the researchers found.

    Agler also looked at the effect of vitamin E on new diagnoses of asthma, but found little or no association.

    Vitamin E and Men's COPD Risk

    Men don't appear to get the same protection from vitamin E, according to study author Patricia Cassano, PhD, associate professor of nutritional epidemiology at Cornell University.

    She and her colleagues looked at data from the SELECT Trial (Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial), originally set up to look at the effects of those supplements on cancer.

    More than 35,000 men participated, and their median age was 62.4 (half younger, half older). Some of the men took 400 IU of vitamin E a day, with or without 200 micrograms a day of selenium, and were compared to those taking placebo. They were followed for four to more than seven years.

    Neither selenium nor vitamin E, alone or in combination, made a difference in preventing COPD, the researchers found, compared to placebo.

    Today on WebMD

    man talking to his doctor
    Check your COPD risk.
    woman using inhaler
    What is the top cause of this condition?
    chest x-ray
    7 early warning signs.
    Senior couple stretching
    10 exercises for people With COPD.
    Bronchitis Overview
    Senior woman blowing dandelion
    Living With Copd
    human lung graphic
    Energy Boosting Foods
    red heart and ekg
    Living With Copd
    Senior couple stretching

    WebMD Special Sections