Vitamin E and risk of type 2 diabetes in the Women's Health Study randomized controlled trial

Simin Liu, I. Min Lee, Yiqing Song, Martin Van Denburgh, Nancy R. Cook, Joann E. Manson, Julie E. Buring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


We directly assessed the efficacy of vitamin E supplements for primary prevention of type 2 diabetes among apparently healthy women in the Women's Health Study randomized trial. Between 1992 and 2004, 38,716 apparently healthy U.S. women aged ≥45 years and free of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease were in two randomly assigned intervention groups and received 600 IU of vitamin E (α-tocopherol, n = 19,347) or placebo (n = 19,369) on alternate days. During a median 10-year follow-up, there were 827 cases of incident type 2 diabetes in the vitamin E group and 869 in the placebo group, a nonsignificant 5% risk reduction (relative risk [RR] 0.95 [95% CI 0.87-1.05], P = 0.31). There was no evidence that diabetes risk factors including age, BMI, postmenopausal hormone use, multivitamin use, physical activity, alcohol intake, and smoking status modified the effect of vitamin E on the risk of type 2 diabetes. In a sensitivity analysis taking compliance into account, women in the vitamin E group had an RR of 0.93 (95% CI 0.83-1.04) (P = 0.21) compared with those randomized to placebo. In this large trial with 10-year follow-up, alternate-day doses of 600 IU vitamin E provided no significant benefit for type 2 diabetes in initially healthy women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2856-2862
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Vitamin E and risk of type 2 diabetes in the Women's Health Study randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this