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Evaluation of a simplified vitamin supplement inventory developed for the Women's Health Initiative

  • Ruth E Patterson (a1), Lisa Levy (a1), Lesley Fels Tinker (a1) and Alan R Kristal (a1)
Abstract
AbstractObjective

To evaluate the accuracy of a simplified inventory procedure for assessing nutrient intake from vitamin and mineral supplements.

Design

Participants brought their supplements to a clinic. An interviewer conducted the supplement inventory procedure, which consisted of recording data on the type of multiple vitamin and single supplements used. For the multiple vitamins, the interviewer recorded the exact dose for a subset of nutrients (vitamin C, calcium, selenium). For other nutrients, we imputed the dose in multiple vitamins. The dose of all single supplements was recorded. Labels of the supplements were photocopied and we transcribed the exact nutrient label data for the criterion measure. Spearman correlation coefficients were used to assess precision of nutrient intakes from the simplified inventory compared to the criterion measure.

Setting/subjects

Data are from 104 adult vitamin supplement users in Washington state.

Results

Correlation coefficients between nutrient intake estimated from the simplified inventory compared to the criterion measure were high (0.8–1.0) for those nutrients (vitamin C, calcium, selenium) for which the interviewer recorded the exact dose contained in multiple vitamins. However, for nutrients for which imputations were made regarding dose in multiple vitamins, correlation coefficients ranged from good (0.8 for vitamin E) to poor (0.3 for iron).

Conclusions

The simplified inventory is rapid (4–5 min) and practical for large-scale studies. The precision of nutrient estimates using this procedure was variable, although excellent for the subset of nutrients for which the dose was recorded exactly. This study illustrates many of the challenges of collecting high quality supplement data.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email rpatters@fhcrc.org
Linked references
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1 RE Patterson , E White , AR Kristal , ML Neuhouser , JD Potter . Vitamin supplements and cancer risk: a review of the epidemiologic evidence. Cancer Causes Control 1997; 8: 786802.

3 IR Reid , RW Ames , MC Evans , GD Gamble , SJ Sharpe . Effect of calcium supplementation on bone loss in postmenopausal women. N. Engl. J. Med. 1993; 328: 460–4.

4 RE Patterson , AR Kristal , RA Carter , L Fels-Tinker , MP Bolton T Agurs-Collins . Measurement characteristics of the Women's Health Initiative food frequency questionnaire. Ann. Epidemiol. 1999; 9: 178–97.

10 AR Kristal , L Levy , RE Patterson , SS Li , E White . Trends in food label use associated with new nutrition labeling regulations. Am. J. Public Health 1998; 88: 1212–15.

12 AR Kristal , RE Patterson , ML Neuhouser , The Olestra Post-Marketing Surveillance Study: design and baseline results from the sentinel site. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 1998; 98: 1290–6.

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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
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