TEL-HASHOMER, ISRAEL. There is growing evidence that a high blood level of homocysteine is a significant risk factor for ischemic stroke in the general population. Now Israeli researchers report that the risk is even greater in patients already suffering from coronary heart disease (CHD). They measured homocysteine levels in 80 CHD patients who had suffered an ischemic strike and compared them to the levels observed in 80 matched CHD patients who had not suffered a stroke. High homocysteine levels (greater than 17.4 micromol/L) were found to be associated with a 3-fold increase in stroke risk. This increased risk was independent of other traditional risk factors for stroke.
Tanne, David, et al. Prospective study of serum homocysteine and risk of ischemic stroke among patients with preexisting coronary heart disease. Stroke, Vol. 34, March 2003, pp. 632-36
Editor's comment: High homocysteine levels can safely and effectively be lowered by supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.