British Journal of Nutrition

Systematic Review with Meta-analysis

Homocysteine-lowering therapy does not lead to reduction in cardiovascular outcomes in chronic kidney disease patients: a meta-analysis of randomised, controlled trials

Yu Pana1, Li Li Guoa1 p1, Ling Ling Caia1, Xiao Juan Zhua1, Jin Lian Shua1, Xiao Li Liua1 and Hui Min Jina1 c1

a1 Division of Nephrology, School of Medicine, No. 3 People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 280 Mo He Road, Shanghai 201 900, People's Republic of China


The efficacy of homocysteine (Hcy)-lowering therapy in reducing the risk of CVD among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to determine whether pooling the data from the few small randomised, controlled trials that address this topic would improve the statistical power of the analysis and resolve some of the inconsistencies in the results. Randomised, controlled clinical trials (RCT) were identified from MEDLINE, EMBASE,, the Cochrane Controlled Clinical Trials Register Database and Nephrology Filters. Independent extraction of articles was performed using predefined data fields. The primary outcome was relative risk (RR) of CVD, CHD, stroke and all-cause mortality for the pooled trials. A stratified analysis was planned, assessing the RR for cardiovascular events between the patients on and not on dialysis. Overall, ten studies met the inclusion criteria. The estimated RR were not significantly different for any outcomes, including CHD (RR 1·00, 95 % CI 0·75, 1·31, P = 0·97), CVD (RR 0·94, 95 % CI 0·84, 1·05, P = 0·30), stroke (RR 0·83, 95 % CI 0·57, 1·19, P = 0·31) and all-cause mortality (RR 1·00, 95 % CI 0·92, 1·09, P = 0·98). In the stratified analysis, the estimated RR were not significantly different for cardiovascular events regardless of dialysis or in combination with vitamin B therapy or the degree of reduction in Hcy levels. Our meta-analysis of RCT supports the conclusion that Hcy-lowering therapy was not associated with a significant decrease in the risk for CVD events, stroke and all-cause mortality among patients with CKD.

(Received November 15 2010)

(Revised September 20 2011)

(Accepted November 23 2011)

(Online publication January 16 2012)


c1 Corresponding author: H. M. Jin, fax +86 21 56691662, email

p1 Present address: Hemodialysis Center, Bao Shan Branch of No. 1 People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China..


† These authors contributed equally to this study.

Abbreviations: CKD, chronic kidney disease; Hcy, homocysteine; HD, haemodialysis; RCT, randomised, controlled clinical trial; RR, relative risk; Vit, vitamin