Folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 are thought to play an important role in cancer prevention.
To evaluate the effect of combined folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 treatment on cancer risk in women at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Design, Setting, and Participants
In the Women’s Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study, 5442 US female health professionals aged 42 years or older with preexisting cardiovascular disease or 3 or more coronary risk factors were randomly assigned to receive either a daily combination of folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 or placebo in April 1998, and treated through July 31, 2005 for 7.3 years.
Daily supplementation of a combination of 2.5 mg of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6, and 1 mg of vitamin B12 (n=2721) or placebo (n=2721).
Main Outcome Measures
Confirmed newly diagnosed total invasive cancer.
A total of 379 women developed invasive cancer (187 in the active group and 192 in the placebo group). Compared with placebo, women receiving combined folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 had similar risk of developing total invasive cancer (101.1/10000 person-years vs 104.3/10000 person-years for the active vs placebo group; hazard ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.79–1.18; P=.75), breast cancer (37.8/10000 person-years vs 45.6/10000 person-years; hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.60–1.14; P=.24), and any cancer death (24.6/10000 person-years vs 30.1/10000 person-years; hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% confidence interval, 0.56–1.21; P=.32).
Combined folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 treatment had no significant effect on overall risk of total invasive cancer or breast cancer among women during folic acid fortification era.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00000541