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      Serum Homocysteine and Long-Term Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Sudden Death in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease

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          We have prospectively evaluated the risk of incident coronary events in association with serum total homocysteine in patients with preexisting chronic coronary heart disease. A nested case-control design was used. Total homocysteine concentration was measured in baseline fasting serum samples from patients with chronic coronary heart disease enrolled in the Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention Study (n = 3,090) who developed coronary events during 6.2 years of follow-up (n = 69). They were matched for age and gender with controls without subsequent cardiovascular events. Elevated homocysteine levels were associated with 2.5 times higher risk of subsequent coronary events and each 5 µmol/l increment was associated with a 25% higher risk.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Plasma homocysteine levels and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease.

          Elevated plasma homocysteine levels are a risk factor for coronary heart disease, but the prognostic value of homocysteine levels in patients with established coronary artery disease has not been defined. We prospectively investigated the relation between plasma total homocysteine levels and mortality among 587 patients with angiographically confirmed coronary artery disease. At the time of angiography in 1991 or 1992, risk factors for coronary disease, including homocysteine levels, were evaluated. The majority of the patients subsequently underwent coronary-artery bypass grafting (318 patients) or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (120 patients); the remaining 149 were treated medically. After a median follow-up of 4.6 years, 64 patients (10.9 percent) had died. We found a strong, graded relation between plasma homocysteine levels and overall mortality. After four years, 3.8 percent of patients with homocysteine levels below 9 micromol per liter had died, as compared with 24.7 percent of those with homocysteine levels of 15 micromol per liter or higher. Homocysteine levels were only weakly related to the extent of coronary artery disease but were strongly related to the history with respect to myocardial infarction, the left ventricular ejection fraction, and the serum creatinine level. The relation of homocysteine levels to mortality remained strong after adjustment for these and other potential confounders. In an analysis in which the patients with homocysteine levels below 9 micromol per liter were used as the reference group, the mortality ratios were 1.9 for patients with homocysteine levels of 9.0 to 14.9 micromol per liter, 2.8 for those with levels of 15.0 to 19.9 micromol per liter, and 4.5 for those with levels of 20.0 micromol per liter or higher (P for trend=0.02). When death due to cardiovascular disease (which occurred in 50 patients) was used as the end point in the analysis, the relation between homocysteine levels and mortality was slightly strengthened. Plasma total homocysteine levels are a strong predictor of mortality in patients with angiographically confirmed coronary artery disease.
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            A prospective study of plasma homocyst(e)ine and risk of myocardial infarction in US physicians.

            To assess prospectively the risk of coronary heart disease associated with elevated plasma levels of homocyst(e)ine. Nested case-control study using prospectively collected blood samples. Participants in the Physicians' Health Study. A total of 14,916 male physicians, aged 40 to 84 years, with no prior myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke provided plasma samples at baseline and were followed up for 5 years. Samples from 271 men who subsequently developed MI were analyzed for homocyst(e)ine levels together with paired controls, matched by age and smoking. Acute MI or death due to coronary disease. Levels of homocyst(e)ine were higher in cases than in controls (11.1 +/- 4.0 [SD] vs 10.5 +/- 2.8 nmol/mL; P = .03). The difference was attributable to an excess of high values among men who later had MIs. The relative risk for the highest 5% vs the bottom 90% of homocyst(e)ine levels was 3.1 (95% confidence interval, 1.4 to 6.9; P = .005). After additional adjustment for diabetes, hypertension, aspirin assignment, Quetelet's Index, and total/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, this relative risk was 3.4 (95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 8.8) (P = .01). Thirteen controls and 31 cases (11%) had values above the 95th percentile of the controls. Moderately high levels of plasma homocyst(e)ine are associated with subsequent risk of MI independent of other coronary risk factors. Because high levels can often be easily treated with vitamin supplements, homocyst(e)ine may be an independent, modifiable risk factor.
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              Prospective study of C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and plasma lipid levels as predictors of sudden cardiac death.

              Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is an important cause of mortality even among apparently healthy populations. However, our ability to identify those at risk for SCD in the general population is poor, and more specific markers are needed. To compare and contrast the relative importance of C-reactive protein (CRP), homocysteine, and lipids as long-term predictors of SCD, we performed a prospective, nested, case-control analysis involving 97 cases of SCD among apparently healthy men enrolled in the Physician's Health Study. Of these plasma markers measured, only baseline CRP levels were significantly associated with the risk of SCD over the ensuing 17 years of follow-up (P for trend=0.001). The increase in risk associated with CRP levels was primarily seen among men in the highest quartile, who were at a 2.78-fold increased risk of SCD (95% CI 1.35 to 5.72) compared with men in the lowest quartile. These results were not significantly altered in analyses that (in addition to the matching variables of age and smoking status) controlled for lipid parameters, homocysteine, and multiple cardiac risk factors (relative risk for highest versus lowest quartile 2.65, 95% CI 0.79 to 8.83; P for trend=0.03). In contrast to the positive relationship observed for CRP, neither homocysteine nor lipid levels were significantly associated with risk of SCD. These prospective data suggest that CRP levels may be useful in identifying apparently healthy men who are at an increased long-term risk of SCD.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                December 2006
                06 June 2006
                : 107
                : 1
                : 52-56
                aDepartment of Cardiology, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petah Tikva, bStroke Unit, Department of Neurology, cNeufeld Cardiac Research Institute, dChemical Pathology Laboratory, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, eInstitute of Physical Hygiene, Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, and fSackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
                93697 Cardiology 2007;107:52–56
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 3, References: 30, Pages: 5
                Original Research


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