Does ginkgo biloba reduce the risk of cardiovascular events?

Lewis H. Kuller, Diane G. Ives, Annette L. Fitzpatrick, Michelle C. Carlson, Carla Mercado, Oscar L. Lopez, Gregory L. Burke, Curt D. Furberg, Steven T. DeKosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background-Cardiovascular disease (CVD) was a preplanned secondary outcome of the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study. The trial previously reported that Ginkgo biloba had no effect on the primary outcome, incident dementia. Methods and Results-The double-blind trial randomly assigned 3069 participants over 75 years of age to 120 mg of G biloba EGb 761 twice daily or placebo. Mean follow-up was 6.1 years. The identification and classification of CVD was based on methods used in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Differences in time to event between G biloba and placebo were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression adjusted for age and sex. There were 355 deaths in the study, 87 due to coronary heart disease with no differences between G biloba and placebo. There were no differences in incident myocardial infarction (n=164), angina pectoris (n=207), or stroke (151) between G biloba and placebo. There were 24 hemorrhagic strokes, 16 on G biloba and 8 on placebo (not significant). There were only 35 peripheral vascular disease events, 12 (0.8%) on G biloba and 23 (1.5%) on placebo (P=0.04, exact test). Most of the peripheral vascular disease cases had either vascular surgery or amputation. Conclusions-There was no evidence that G biloba reduced total or CVD mortality or CVD events. There were more peripheral vascular disease events in the placebo arm. G biloba cannot be recommended for preventing CVD. Further clinical trials of peripheral vascular disease outcomes might be indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Anticoagulation
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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