The effects of long-term homocysteine-lowering treatment with folic acid, vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 on vascular structure and function in stroke

Kathleen Potter

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    144 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    [Truncated abstract] An elevated total plasma homocysteine concentration (tHcy) is associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. Folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12 supplements significantly reduce tHcy even in people who are not overtly vitamin deficient. If homocysteine is a causal risk factor for atherothrombotic events, treatment with B-vitamins might prove a simple and cost-effective means to reduce cardiovascular risk. However, it remains unclear whether elevated tHcy causes atherosclerosis or is simply a risk marker. To prove that homocysteine is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease it is necessary to show that lowering tHcy reduces vascular risk. The aim of this study was to determine whether long-term homocysteine-lowering with B-vitamins would improve vascular structure and function in people with a history of stroke. This study was a cross-sectional sub-study of the Vitamins TO Prevent Stroke trial (VITATOPS), a multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to test the efficacy and safety of B-vitamins (folic acid 2mg, vitamin B6 25mg and vitamin B12 0.5mg) in the prevention of vascular events in patients with a recent history of stroke or transient ischemic attack. 173 VITATOPS participants were recruited for the current study. Age, sex, stroke type, medications, cardiovascular risk factors and smoking history were recorded and blood pressure, height, weight, waist and hip girth were measured in all subjects at least two years after randomisation. ... After a mean treatment period of 3.9 ± 0.9 years, the subjects randomised to vitamin treatment had significantly lower tHcy than the subjects randomised to placebo (7.9mol/L, 95%CI 7.5, 8.4 versus 11.8mol/L, 95%CI 10.9, 12.8; p
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2008

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