Navigation Links
Study Finds Folic Acid Not Cardioprotective, Though Safe

Study highlights:

- Large, randomized study finds large doses of folic acid are safe but lack preventive cardiovascular benefits.

- A separate comparison in the same study supports the benefits of more intensive cholesterol lowering.

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Folic acid is safe -- but it lacks any cardiovascular benefits -- according to researchers presenting at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2008. The results from the Study of the Effectiveness of Additional Reductions in Cholesterol and Homocysteine (SEARCH), a 12,064-person, randomized study, were presented as a late-breaking clinical trial.

Researchers reported that 2 milligrams (mg) of folic acid (vitamin B9), a supplement most often used to prevent neural tube defects, and 1 mg of vitamin B12 per day failed to show any reduction in the primary outcome of major vascular events (MVE) compared to placebo. MVE is defined as non-fatal heart attack, coronary death, stroke or arterial revascularization.

However, the vitamins also did not increase non-vascular death rates or cancer rates during an average follow-up of 6.7 years among patients who had previously had a heart attack, said Professor Jane M. Armitage, co-principal investigator of the study and professor of clinical trials and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, England.

"There was no difference between the treatment groups in terms of vascular events, but importantly, we also didn't see any kind of safety concerns with folic acid," she said. "SEARCH throws cold water on a once-promising hypothesis, based on a well-known association between higher blood levels of the amino acid homocystine and higher cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, that using B vitamins to reduce blood levels of homocystine would prevent CVD."

The study's finding of no excess risk of cancer or other adverse events from higher than average doses of folic acid provides reassurance for the United States, Canada and several other countries that require folic acid fortification of flour, bread and many cereals to protect newborns from neural tube defects, Armitage said.

At the same late breaking clinical trials session, Armitage's co-principal investigator, Professor Rory Collins, professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, presented a second randomized comparison from the SEARCH trial of 80mg versus 20mg per day of simvastatin -- the largest direct comparison of more versus less intensive lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

Previous studies have found that statin therapy reduces the relative risk of MVE by about 20 percent per 40 milligram per deciliter (mg/dL) reduction in LDL-C. Compared with the patients assigned 20mg per day of simvastatin in SEARCH, LDL-C was reduced by an average of 14mg/dL more among the patients assigned 80mg per day of simvastatin.

Collins presented the results of SEARCH in the context of an update of a meta-analysis of individual patient data from previous studies of statin therapy published in The Lancet in 2005 (Lancet 2005 Oct 8: 366:1267-78.) Based on that meta-analysis, a 14 mg/dL greater reduction in LDL-C would be expected to produce a 6 percent to 7 percent relative reduction in MVE, which is what researchers observed in the SEARCH trial.

Daily doses of 80mg simvastatin were associated with more myopathy cases than 20mg simvastatin, although the SEARCH trial had identified a genetic variant that accounted for much of the excess myopathy risk with the higher-dose simvastatin regimen.

Co-authors are the SEARCH Collaborative Group. Individual author disclosures are available on the abstract.

The University of Oxford's Clinical Trial Service Unit designed, conducted, analyzed and interpreted the SEARCH study, which was funded by a research grant from Merck & Co.

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at

SOURCE American Heart Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Study Finds Timing Is Everything For Some Heart Attack Patients
2. New technique to study the genetics of breast cancer
3. Intestinal Infection Afflicts 13 of 1,000 Hospital Patients, Infection Rates 6.5 - 20 Times Greater Than Previous Estimates, New Study Says
4. WomenHeart Urges Women to Talk With Doctors About New Study Showing Statins Prevent Heart Attacks, Deaths
5. High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
6. Study Upholds Stopping Plavix Use Before Surgery
7. Cornell researchers study showing evidence of a major environmental trigger for autism
8. Study confirms increased heart attack deaths in NYC ambulance diversions
9. Study improves recovery for mothers with depression
10. Companies Pay a High Price for Employees With Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, According to Study From Thomson Reuters
11. Study Finds Rise in Rate of Diagnostic Imaging in Managed Care
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... Jose, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... ... Area, is proud to announce their December, 2015, featured apartment community: Epic. In showcasing ... for corporate housing in the tight Bay Area rental market to efficiently find housing ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Beginning November 30th at 6:00 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. EST, ... savings of up to 20% off orders $80 or more to free gifts with purchases, ... hours. , As a competitive e-commerce website for skin care and cosmetic needs, customers will ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published November ... and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets ... that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets have ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... and convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he invented the ... to monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could help to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: ... in Final Cut Pro X. With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add ... ProSidebar as a minimalist title opener. Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... --> adds "Global Repaglinide ... "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide Market, ... forecasts data and information to its ... . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Italian ... Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report ... --> This new 247-page report ... drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ... Cell Surface Marker Testing Market: Supplier ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: