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OBJECTIVE: To examine whether supplementation with multivitamins and multiminerals influences self reported days of infection, use of health services, and quality of life in people aged 65 or over. DESIGN: Randomised, placebo controlled trial, with blinding of participants, outcome assessors, and investigators. SETTING: Communities associated with six general practices in Grampian, Scotland. PARTICIPANTS: 910 men and women aged 65 or over who did not take vitamins or minerals. INTERVENTIONS: Daily multivitamin and multimineral supplementation or placebo for one year. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes were contacts with primary care for infections, self reported days of infection, and quality of life. Secondary outcomes included antibiotic prescriptions, hospital admissions, adverse events, and compliance. RESULTS: Supplementation did not significantly affect contacts with primary care and days of infection per person (incidence rate ratio 0.96, 95% confidence interval 0.78 to 1.19 and 1.07, 0.90 to 1.27). Quality of life was not affected by supplementation. No statistically significant findings were found for secondary outcomes or subgroups. CONCLUSION: Routine multivitamin and multimineral supplementation of older people living at home does not affect self reported infection related morbidity. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN: 66376460.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





324 - 329


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Double-Blind Method, Family Practice, Female, Humans, Infection, Male, Minerals, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Patient Compliance, Quality of Life, Risk Factors, Tablets, Vitamins