New findings suggest that hypertensive patients with low platelet count (PLT) and high total homocysteine (tHcy) levels could benefit significantly from folic acid supplements.
Researchers examined data on 10,789 hypertensive men and woman aged 45-75 from the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial (CSPPT). Participants were randomly assigned to daily treatments of 10 mg enalapril and 0.8 mg folic acid (n=5,408) or 10 mg enalapril alone (n =5,381). The primary endpoint was first stroke.
During a median follow up of 4.2 years, 371 first strokes occurred. In the enalapril-alone group, the authors found patients with low PLT and high tHcy had the highest rate of first stroke, while those with high PLT and low tHcy had the lowest rate of first stroke. Following folic acid treatment, the high-risk group had a 73 per cent reduction in stroke, whereas there was no significant effect among the low-risk group.
Presenting the findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the authors said, “if confirmed, PLT and tHcy could serve as biomarkers to identify high-risk individuals who would particularly benefit from folic acid treatment.”