Navigation Links
Vitamin B May Not Guard Against Second Stroke, Heart Attack

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who take vitamin B supplements to lower their homocysteine levels may not be protected from second strokes or heart attacks, a new study finds.

Earlier studies found an association between homocysteine, an amino acid, in the blood, and an increased risk for stroke and heart attack. Vitamin B supplements lower homocysteine levels, but whether this really has an effect on stroke and heart attack risk has been unclear, the Australian researchers noted.

"B vitamins are safe, but they were not, statistically, significantly more effective than placebo in preventing major vascular events among stroke and TIA [transient ischemic attack] patients," said lead researcher Dr. Graeme J. Hankey, head of the stroke unit at Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia. "B vitamins have not been proven to have a role in secondary stroke prevention."

The report is published in the Aug. 4 online edition of The Lancet Neurology, and will appear in the September print issue of the journal.

For the study, Hankey and his colleagues in the Vitamins to Prevent Stroke (VITATOPS) trial tested whether lowering homocysteine with a combination of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 would lower the risk of a second stroke or heart attack in patients who had a recent stroke or transient ischemic attack.

In the trial, 8,164 patients were randomly assigned to daily doses of either B vitamins or a placebo in addition to standard care.

Over 3.4 years of follow-up, the researchers found the vitamins were no more effective than placebo. In all, 15 percent of the people taking B vitamins had a second stroke, heart attack or died, compared with 17 percent of those receiving placebo. B vitamins did, however, lower homocysteine levels.

People taking the vitamins had no adverse reactions and the vitamins were well-tolerated, the researchers noted.

Despite these findings, Hankey isn't sure that B vitamins don't work. "Our study may well have been underpowered statistically," he said.

Had the trial gone on longer, a "significant treatment effect may have emerged, and has thus been missed in our study," Hankey added.

"I don't think it is the end of the road for B vitamins in stroke prevention. We need to see the effect of B vitamins in the three other ongoing trials, particularly in patients who have been treated for several years, and particularly in patients with stroke caused by small vessel intracranial disease," he added.

Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, director of the Duke Stroke Center at Duke University Medical Center, agreed that the question of whether or not B vitamins lower the risk of a second stroke or heart attack was not answered fully by this trial.

"High homocysteine is associated with both stroke and coronary heart disease. Homocysteine can be lowered with B-complex vitamin supplements, but whether doing so lowers the risk of vascular events is uncertain," Goldstein said.

Earlier studies found no benefit of homocysteine lowering in subjects with coronary heart disease or renal failure. "The VISP trial, conducted in North America, found no benefit of B-vitamin treatment in subjects with prior stroke, but had several important methodological limitations," Goldstein added.

This new report also finds no benefit of treatment with B-complex vitamins in patients with stroke or TIA, but the adverse event rates in both the treatment and placebo groups were lower than anticipated, he pointed out.

"A benefit by as much as an 18 percent reduction in risk remains possible," Goldstein said. "Treatment with B vitamins appeared safe, and the results of other ongoing trials should help more definitively answer the question."

More information

For more information on stroke, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Graeme J. Hankey, M.D., consultant neurologist and head, stroke unit, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia, clinical professor, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia; Larry B. Goldstein, M.D., professor, neurology, and director, Duke Stroke Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; Aug. 4, 2010, The Lancet Neurology, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Black Teens May Need Higher Vitamin D Supplementation
2. Vitamin D deficiency linked to arterial stiffness in black teens
3. Vitamins needed to help celiacs stave off bone disease
4. New vitamin D guidelines
5. Vitamins D, E Might Help Maintain Brain Health
6. Vitamin B3 as a novel approach to treat fungal infections
7. Vitamins for Life Inventory Extended to Wellness Products, Higher Nature Supplements
8. Low vitamin D linked to the metabolic syndrome in elderly people
9. More Evidence That B Vitamins Alone Wont Counter Heart Risks
10. Small Supplement And Vitamin Manufacturers Must Meet FDA cGMP Requirements By The End Of The Month
11. Rich Vitamins Proves Taking Vitamins Doesn't Have to be a Pill with New alternaVites
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Vitamin B May Not Guard Against Second  Stroke, Heart Attack 
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC (PER®) ... announced that the first annual School of Gastrointestinal Oncology™ (SOGO™) will be held ... treatment of gastrointestinal cancers are undergoing transformational change, providing oncologists with powerful new ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Growth in ... part due to decreases in utilization of hospital and nonhospital care, according to a ... CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks for Louisiana, 16th Edition , found medical payments per claim with ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Illinois (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and share medical images have been lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches MED-TAB™ ... Society of North America Annual Meeting from November 29 to December 4, 2015. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Visage accelerates ... a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced they ... Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 in Chicago, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and clinical solutions for the care management and population health arenas, is pleased ... providing clinical and cost containment services, has successfully implemented the ACUITY Complete Care™ ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... A federal court has denied the state of ... filed by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) challenging the ... law that forces employers and consumers to pay drugstores higher ... must now defend a law that raises health care ... Mark Merritt . --> Arkansas ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Pharma Tech Outlook recently conducted ... Clinical Data Management Solution Providers - 2015 .  After ... comprising CEOs, CIOs, VCs, analysts, and the Pharma Tech ... of top 10 clinical data management solution providers (check ... 14 and 36 respectively). --> ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... VERONA, Va. , Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... today unveiled a new corporate logo and brand ... in the design and engineering of bladed products ... --> --> Serving ... fiber, glass, and auto glass equipment, AccuTEC,s product ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: