Supplement use and mortality: the SENECA study

  • Anna Brzozowska
  • Joanna Kaluza
  • Kim T. B. Knoops
  • Lisette C. P. G. M. de Groot



It is hypothesis that in relatively healthy older people supplement usage can be consider as healthy life style habit and as such can positively influence longevity.

Aim of the study

To determine whether supplement use was associated with all-cause mortality in the participants of the SENECA study.


Baseline measurements were carried out in 1988/1989 among 75 to 80-year-old people living in 15 European small towns. All-cause mortality was followed up to April 30, 1999. Data from 920 men and 980 women who were ischemic heart diseases-, stroke- and cancer-free at baseline were included. The multivariate adjusted (for sex, age, years of education, physical activity, BMI, chronic diseases, Mediterranean Diet Score, alcohol use and the place of living) hazard ratio (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of mortality by use of any type of nutrient supplement and by particular nutrient supplement use were estimated by Cox proportional hazards regression models.


At baseline, 13% of participants used nutritional supplements, 19% of subjects were smokers. During 10 years of follow-up 445 men and 252 women died. Among non-smokers no significant associations between total supplement use and particular nutrient supplement use were observed. Among smokers use of any type of supplements (Multivariate HR: 1.52; 95%CI: 1.02–2.28), use of vitamin B1 (Multivariate HR: 1.57; 95%CI: 1.00–2.48) and vitamin B2 supplements (Multivariate HR: 1.60; 95%CI: 1.00–2.56) were associated with a significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality. The similar tendencies were observed among vitamin B6 and vitamin C supplement users who were smokers.


Among smokers, participants of the SENECA study, supplement use increased all-cause mortality risk.

Key words

elderly Europe supplement use mortality smoking 



This study constitutes a part of the Healthy Ageing: a Longitudinal study in Europe (HALE) Project (QLK6-CT-2000-00211) and is funded by the European Union under Specific Programme “Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources”.


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Copyright information

© Spinger 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Brzozowska
    • 1
  • Joanna Kaluza
    • 1
  • Kim T. B. Knoops
    • 2
  • Lisette C. P. G. M. de Groot
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. Human NutritionWarsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGWWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Division of Human NutritionWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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