Side effects were fairly similar except for more rashes among vitamin users. The National Institutes of Health paid for most of the study. Pfizer Inc. supplied the pills and other companies supplied the packaging.
The same study a few weeks ago found that multivitamins cut the chance of developing cancer by 8 percent — a modest amount and less than what can be achieved from a good diet, exercise and not smoking.
Multivitamins also may have different results in women or people less healthy than those in this study — only 4 percent smoked, for example.
The fish-oil studies tested prescription-strength omega-3 capsules from several companies in two different groups of people for preventing atrial fibrillation, a fluttering, irregular heartbeat.
One study from South America aimed to prevent recurrent episodes in 600 participants who already had the condition. The other sought to prevent it from developing in 1,500 people from the U.S., Italy and Argentina having various types of heart surgery, such as valve replacement. About one third of heart-surgery patients develop atrial fibrillation as a complication.
Both studies found fish oil ineffective.
AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner in Chicago contributed to this report.
Heart Association: http://www.heart.org
Vitamin facts: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/MVMS-QuickFacts/
Dietary advice: www.dietaryguidelines.gov
Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP .