BEYOND CHOLESTEROL

AN AMINO ACID CALLED HOMOCYSTEINE MAY BE AS CLOSELY LINKED TO HEART DISEASE--AND EASIER TO TREAT

Between 1992 and 1996, 64 men and women in Norway quietly died. Their passing was noted by their families but otherwise was largely unremarked. All the deceased, after all, suffered from heart disease, and many had undergone bypass surgery. Deaths like these are not the stuff of headlines.

Last week, however, the dead Norwegians made the evening news. What all of them had in common, in addition to sickly hearts and premature deaths, was elevated levels of an amino acid called homocysteine. The patients were part of a study, published in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine,...

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