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CONTACT: STEVE MARAVETZ
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8037; fax (319) 335-8034
e-mail: steve-maravetz@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

MEDIA ADVISORY

SOURCES ON LINK BETWEEN HOMOCYSTEINE AND HEART DISEASE

A study that appears in this week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirms research conducted here at the University of Iowa linking elevated levels of an amino acid called homocysteine with increased risk of heart disease.

The study published in JAMA was done by a team of Irish researchers and was conducted in nine European countries.

If you would like to talk about this study and/or homocysteine, you may contact Dr. Donald Heistad, head of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, in the UI College of Medicine. Heistad was one of the leaders of the UI research team who linked moderately high homocysteine levels with increased threat of cardiovascular disease. The UI study was published last July in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Prior to the UI study, scientists knew that high levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for stroke and heart attacks. The UI research was the first in vivo study to link even moderate elevations of the amino acid with increased cardiovascular risk.

Other research has indicated a link between lack of folic acid and elevated levels of homocysteine. Folic acid is a B vitamin found in green, leafy vegetables and in many fruits. It is also widely available as a vitamin supplement.

To contact Heistad, call 319-356-2706.

6/10/97