Associations of homocysteine, C-reactive protein and cardiovascular disease in patients with renal disease
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In the past year, evidence from epidemiological studies in patients with renal disease has confirmed associations between both elevated plasma total homocysteine concentrations and the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein with an increased risk of arteriosclerotic vascular disease. However, it remains to be determined whether lowering total homocysteine or reducing inflammation will prevent 'hard' clinical outcome events such as stroke, myocardial infarction, and vascular death. Randomized trials of homocysteine lowering are currently ongoing and should further clarify the nature of the observed association between elevated total homocysteine and cardiovascular risk in patients with or without renal disease, and whether it is causal and modifiable. There are currently no known therapeutic interventions that specifically lower C-reactive protein levels in individuals or the prevalence of elevated C-reactive protein in the population but randomized trials of anti-inflammatory therapy (e.g. using selective cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors) aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease are currently being planned.
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