Research: VOUTILAINEN and colleague

Listed in Issue 28

Abstract

VOUTILAINEN and colleagues, Research Institute of Public Health, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland conducted a study into the potential association of low serum folate and the incidence of acute coronary events. (Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study).

Background

To test the hypothesis that low serum folate concentrations are associated with an increased risk of acute coronary events in men free of prior coronary heart disease.

Methodology

This was a prospective study of 734 men (46-64 yrs old) examined in 1991-1993 as part of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) and followed for 5 years and 3 months. Acute coronary events during the follow-up period were obtained by national hospital discharge registry. Baseline serum folate concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay.

Results

Six (2.5%) men with higher serum folate concentrations and 28 (5.7%) men with lower serum folate developed an acute coronary event (P=0.008). In a Cox model adjusting for age, examination years, and plasma lycopene concentration, in men with higher serum folate concentrations the relative risk for an acute coronary event was 0.31 (95% CI 0.11-0.90, P=0.031) when compared with men with lower serum folates.

Conclusion

This prospective cohort study in middle-aged men from eastern Finland indicates that moderate-to-high levels of serum folate are associated with a greatly reduced incidence of acute coronary events.

References

Voutilainen S et al. Low serum folate concentrations are associated with an excess incidence of acute coronary events: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 54(5): 424-8. May 2000. @i:56

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