The scientists observed that by combining enalapril, a drug used for hypertension, and folic acid it the risk of having the first stroke was reduced.
The researchers presented their new findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association at the American College of Cardiology, a medical conference held annually in San Diego on March 14-16.
Dr. Yong Huo, from the Peking University First Hospital in Beijing, was the researcher who tested the efficacy of folic acid in combination with enalapril. He compared the results with the efficacy of taking only enalapril for reducing the risk of having the first stroke.
The study involved 20,702 participants, all adults, who were hypertensive but did not have any history of strokes or heart diseases.
The researchers gave 10,348 participants a combination pill that contained folic acid and enalapril, and 10,354 participants were given a pill that contained only enalapril.
The participants were then kept under observation for approximately 4.5 years. After this time period the studies revealed that those who were given the enalapril + folic acid pill were less likely to suffer a first stroke, compared with the group that only took enalapril.
282 of those who took enalapril and folic acid had a first stroke compared to 355 of the participants who were given only enalapril.
According to the experts, the folic acid in combination with the enalapril helped reduce the risk of stroke by 21%.
Also, the studies showed that the participants who were treated with folic acid and enalapril had a reduced risk of developing other conditions like ischemic stroke or composite cardiovascular problems, which can lead to stroke, MI and death.
However, the doctors noticed that there were no significant differences in the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and MI.
The experts recommend a high intake of folic acid in order to reduce the risk of first stroke. Dark green vegetables, dried beans, lentils and citrus fruits are great source of folic acid.
The authors of the study wrote that:
“These findings are consistent with benefits from foliate use among adults with hypertension and low baseline foliate levels.”
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