Elevated homocysteine and C-reactive protein levels independently predict worsening prognosis after stroke in Chinese patients.
ABSTRACT Increased plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels are independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, the predictive value of tHcy in combination with hsCRP in patients with stroke is not known. To determine the relationship between tHcy and hsCRP, we enrolled 291 patients with first-onset stroke (196 ischemic and 95 hemorrhagic). Plasma tHcy and hsCRP levels were measured and subsequent vascular events and deaths were determined over a 5-year period. Using the arbitrary cutoff for tHcy (<18 μmol/L and ≥18 μmol/L) and hsCRP (<1 mg/L, 1-3 mg/L and >3 mg/L), the patients were divided into 6 groups. Survival analysis showed that the probability of death or new vascular events during a 5-year follow-up increased according to tHcy and hsCRP levels (P<0.01). The relative risk (RR) of death or new vascular events was 4.67 (95% CI, 1.96 to 11.14, P=0.001) in patients with high tHcy (≥18 μmol/L) and hsCRP (>3 mg/L) compared with those with low tHcy (<18 μmol/L) and hsCRP (<1 mg/L). The increased tHcy level (≥18 μmol/L) combined with increased hsCRP level (>3 mg/L) was still significantly associated with the risk of death or new vascular events (RR, 4.10, 95% CI, 1.61 to 10.45, P=0.003) even when adjusted for other risk factors at inclusion. The combination of increased tHcy and hsCRP levels had a stronger predictive value than increased hsCRP alone or increased tHcy level alone. Further studies are required to evaluate the potential decrease in risks associated with lowering both Hcy and hsCRP levels in patients that present with both increased tHcy and hsCRP.