Vitamin E administration may decrease the incidence of pneumonia in elderly males

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Hemila , H 2016 , ' Vitamin E administration may decrease the incidence of pneumonia in elderly males ' , Clinical Interventions in Aging , vol. 11 , pp. 1379-1385 .

Title: Vitamin E administration may decrease the incidence of pneumonia in elderly males
Author: Hemila, Harri
Contributor organization: Harri Hemilä / Principal Investigator
Department of Public Health
Date: 2016
Language: eng
Number of pages: 7
Belongs to series: Clinical Interventions in Aging
ISSN: 1178-1998
Abstract: Background: Vitamin E has influenced the immune system in laboratory studies. Dozens of animal experiments have found that vitamin E offered protection against infections caused by viruses and bacteria. Previously, significant heterogeneity was found in the effect of vitamin E supplementation on pneumonia in humans. The aim of this study was to examine how the effect of vitamin E on pneumonia risk depends on age. Methods: Secondary analysis of the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention study in Finland, 1985-1993, was performed. Participants were male smokers aged 50-69 years at the baseline who started to smoke at >= 21 years (N=7,469). Intervention was 50 mg/d of vitamin E for 5-8 years. The outcome was the incidence of hospital-treated, community-acquired pneumonia by the age at the follow-up. Results: Among 2,216 participants who smoked 5-19 cigarettes per day at baseline and exercised at leisure time, vitamin E supplementation reduced the incidence of pneumonia by 69% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 43%-83%; 57 pneumonia cases). In this subgroup, vitamin E prevented pneumonia in 12.9% of participants by the age of 74 years. Among 5,253 participants who smoked >= 20 cigarettes per day at baseline or did not exercise, the incidence of pneumonia was 14% lower in the vitamin E participants (95% CI: -38% to +21%; 139 cases). One-third of the participants quit smoking for a period, of whom 27 got pneumonia. The incidence of pneumonia was 72% (95% CI: 31%-89%) lower in the vitamin E group, and this benefit was also seen among those males who smoked >20 cigarettes per day at baseline or did not exercise. Conclusion: Although the evidence of benefit from vitamin E against pneumonia in elderly males is strong in this analysis, the overall findings about vitamin E have been complex. Further research on vitamin E in nonsmoking elderly males is warranted.
Subject: antioxidants
randomized controlled trial
respiratory tract infections
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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