The purpose of this study is to examine whether vitamin E (DL-alpha-tocopherol)
supplementation will reduce the progression of early atherosclerosis in healthy individuals
over 40 years of age with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels greater than or
equal to 130mg/dL.
The primary hypothesis to be tested is that vitamin E supplementation of 400 IU/day exerts
positive arterial wall effects by reducing progression of early atherosclerosis in healthy
individuals 40 years old or older without clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Ultrasonography will be used to measure the rate of change of the distal common carotid
artery (CCA) far wall intima-media thickness (IMT). The beneficial effects of vitamin E
supplementation are expected to occur with or without a change in LDL-C levels.
A total of 353 men and women will be recruited for the three-year trial. Participants will
be randomized into a treatment group to receive either vitamin E (DL-alpha-tocopherol) 400
IU/day or a placebo. The ultrasound measurement of CCA IMT will be repeated every six months
for two years.
- Male or female
- 40 years or older
- Fasting LDL-C level 130 mg/dL or greater, TG (triglyceride) levels 500mg/dL or lower
- Any clinical signs or symptoms of cardiovascular disease (CVD)
- Diabetes mellitus or fasting serum glucose 140mg/dL or greater
- Regular vitamin E supplementation for more than 1 year
- Lipid standardized plasma vitamin E levels greater than 35 micromoles per liter
- Uncontrolled hypertension (diastolic blood pressure 100 mmHg or greater)
- Thyroid disease (untreated)
- Renal insufficiency (serum creatinine greater than 2.5 mg/dL)
- Life threatening disease with prognosis less than 5 years
- Alcohol intake greater than 5 drinks per day (1 drink = 1 1/2 oz distilled spirits, 4
oz wine, or 12 oz beer) or substance abuse (intravenous drug abuse, cocaine use)
Howard N. Hodis, MD
University of Southern California, Atherosclerosis Research Unit, Division of Cardiovascular Medicin