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Association of habitual glucosamine use with risk of cardiovascular disease: prospective study in UK Biobank

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 14 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1628
  1. Hao Ma, PhD candidate12,
  2. Xiang Li, PhD candidate1,
  3. Dianjianyi Sun, postdoctoral fellow1,
  4. Tao Zhou, postdoctoral fellow1,
  5. Sylvia H Ley, assistant professor134,
  6. Jeanette Gustat, clinical associate professor1,
  7. Yoriko Heianza, postdoctoral fellow1,
  8. Lu Qi, professor134
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
  2. 2The National Key Discipline, Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China
  3. 3Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  4. 4Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
  1. Correspondence to: L Qi lqi1{at}
  • Accepted 14 March 2019


Objective To prospectively assess the association of habitual glucosamine use with risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting UK Biobank.

Participants 466 039 participants without CVD at baseline who completed a questionnaire on supplement use, which included glucosamine. These participants were enrolled from 2006 to 2010 and were followed up to 2016.

Main outcome measures Incident CVD events, including CVD death, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

Results During a median follow-up of seven years, there were 10 204 incident CVD events, 3060 CVD deaths, 5745 coronary heart disease events, and 3263 stroke events. After adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, race, lifestyle factors, dietary intakes, drug use, and other supplement use, glucosamine use was associated with a significantly lower risk of total CVD events (hazard ratio 0.85, 95% confidence interval 0.80 to 0.90), CVD death (0.78, 0.70 to 0.87), coronary heart disease (0.82, 0.76 to 0.88), and stroke (0.91, 0.83 to 1.00).

Conclusion Habitual use of glucosamine supplement to relieve osteoarthritis pain might also be related to lower risks of CVD events.


  • Contributors: LQ and HM conceived and designed the study. HM performed the statistical analysis. HM and LQ wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All the authors participated in the interpretation of the results and critical revision of the manuscript. LQ had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis; he is the guarantor. The corresponding author attests that all listed authors meet authorship criteria and that no others meeting the criteria have been omitted.

  • Funding: LQ was supported by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (HL071981, HL034594, HL126024) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (DK115679, DK091718, DK100383, DK078616). SHL is partially supported by grant P20GM109036 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

  • Competing interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at and declare: no support from any organization for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

  • Transparency: The lead author (LQ) affirms that the manuscript is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned have been explained.

Data availability statement

The genetic and phenotypic UK Biobank data are available on application to the UK Biobank (

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