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Aims: To determine the effects on homocysteine levels of two doses of folic acid compared to placebo, where the high dose is typical of that provided by pharmacological intervention and the low dose approximates that provided by dietary supplementation. Methods and Results: The PACIFIC study was a doubleblind, placebo-controlled, factorial randomized trial. Seven hundred and twenty-three individuals with a history of myocardial infarction or unstable angina were recruited from 28 clinical cardiology centres in Australia and New Zealand and randomized to folic acid 2·0 mg daily, folic acid 0·2 mg daily or placebo. The primary outcome, homocysteine, was measured using a fluorescence polarization immunoassay. Compared to placebo, 2·0mg folic acid reduced homocysteine by 1·8 μmol . 1 - 1 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·3-2·3] and 0·2 mg reduced homocysteine by 1·2 μmol . 1 - 1 (95% CI 0·8-1·7). The higher dose reduced homocysteine significantly more than the lower dose (P=0·01). Conclusions: Both doses of folic acid reduced homocysteine, but the effects of the 2·0 mg dose were about one third greater than the 0·2 mg dose. Fortification of foods with folic acid should result in population-wide lower levels of homocysteine but high-dose pharmacological supplementation would produce greater reductions for high-risk individuals. © 2002 The European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


European Heart Journal

Publication Date





1509 - 1515