B Vitamins No Help In Heart Attacks
B vitamins to heart attack survivors does not cut their risk of having another attack and may actually do more harm than good, researchers said.
The finding confounds supporters of vitamins, including some doctors, who have argued that folic acid and vitamin B-6 can prevent heart disease by reducing levels of a substance called homocysteine in the blood.
A study of more than 3,700 patients presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress showed high doses of B vitamins could be bad news.
Those who took folic acid or vitamin B-6 alone had a small and statistically insignificant increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, but those who took both saw their risk jump by 20 percent.
Professor Kaare Harald Bonaa of the University of Tromso, Norway, said the 3-year trial showed vitamins did reduce homocysteine levels, by around 30 percent, but this did not translate into lowered heart risk.
“The homocysteine hypothesis is dead,” he told reporters.
Homocysteine, an amino acid, is produced when the body metabolises high-protein foods. Scientists think that high concentrations could damage blood-vessel walls.
“The results of the trial are important because they tell doctors that prescribing high doses of B vitamins will not prevent heart disease or stroke. B vitamins should be prescribed only to patients who have B vitamin deficiency,” Bonaa said.
Diabetes: People with diabetes are no more likely than the general population to have depression, according to study results reported in the journal Diabetes Care.
The results of a second study, also reported in the journal, suggest that most mothers of infants found to be at risk for type 1 diabetes do not become depressed in response to this information.
Although some studies have suggested an increased risk of depression among diabetics, Dr. Anne Engum at Hospital Levanger in Norway and her colleagues theorized that the association may be influenced by the presence of other illnesses and factors commonly linked to depression.
They therefore evaluated data collected in the population-based second Nord-Trondelag Health Study, which included 59,329 subjects without diabetes, 223 with type 1 diabetes and 958 with type 2 diabetes. Subjects were screened for depression using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
Depression was more common among the diabetics (15.2 percent of type 1 diabetes, 19.0 percent of type 2 diabetes versus 10.7 percent in nondiabetics).