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Homocysteine (cont.)

Can lowering homocysteine levels prevent the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes?

There is controversy whether lowering homocysteine levels affects the risk of vascular disease like heart attack and stroke. At present there is insufficient evidence to show that lowering these levels has any benefit in terms of disease prevention, so treatment aimed at lowering blood homocysteine levels is not recommended for most people who do not have severe hyperhomocysteinemia. Some studies suggest that lowering homocysteine levels may decrease the risk of stroke. However, while the overall risk of stroke decreased in these studies, the severity of the stroke and the amount of disability were not affected. More importantly, medications that affect platelet function such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), and aspirin-dipyridamole (Aggrenox) are recommended and are effective as secondary stroke prevention medications. There is uncertainty whether the risk of heart disease is affected.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/22/2016

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