Folic acid may ease heart inflammation in patients with end-stage renal disease
by Newsletter Editor
The healthy kidney cleans the blood by filtering excess fluid, minerals, and waste but when this function fails, people must have artificial filtering, called hemodialysis. In end-stage kidney disease, chances for heart problems increase as the homocysteine level increases. In earlier studies, folic acid reduced chronically high homocysteine levels in kidney disease, but the studies were too small to measure the effects of folic acid on heart disease.
In this study, doctors compared 17,000 people who were taking a folic acid supplement with 17,000 similar people who took a placebo. Both groups were in stable condition on hemodialysis. After three years of follow-up tracking deaths for any cause, researchers found that, compared to placebo, 8 percent more people in the folic acid group had survived.