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March 19, 1997

Selenium Supplementation and Cancer Rates

Author Affiliations

Mount Sinai and Bronx VA Medical Centers Bronx, NY

JAMA. 1997;277(11):880. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540350030015

To the Editor.  —Dr Clark and colleagues1 informed us that while, compared with a placebo, selenium supplements reduced overall cancer morbidity and mortality, they did not reduce all-cause morbidity and mortality. This indicates that selenium increased morbidity and mortality from diseases other than cancer. So that we can adequately inform our patients, Clark et al should tell us what those other diseases are and by how much their morbidity and mortality were increased by the selenium supplements. Patients susceptible to those other diseases may be as much harmed by taking selenium supplements as those susceptible to certain cancers may be helped.