Vitamin B12 and Folate in Hip Fracture After Stroke.





Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Folic Acid Stroke Vitamin B12
Professional Data: Folic Acid Stroke Vitamin B12


The term "stroke" or "paralytic stroke" is commonly used to describe a sudden problem with the brain that is usually related to its blood supply. A "stroke," therefore, can be due to ischemia (decreased blood supply), infarction (interrupted blood supply), or hemorrhage (severe bleeding), and usually means that there is some kind of permanent problem with the nervous system. All three of these causes (ischemia, infarction, or hemorrhage) would be due to cerebrovascular disease (disease related to the blood supply to the brain).

Cerebrovascular disease can be described as any disease affecting the blood vessels, blood flow, or quality of the blood in the brain. Other terms for this disease include apoplexy or cerebrovascular accident (CVA). In the United States, the term stroke is most often used. Most strokes are caused by ischemia and infarction because of diseases of the large, small, and medium-sized arteries in the brain. Cerebral embolism (blood clot in the brain) causes strokes about 20 percent of the time. Hemorrhage into the brain tissue account for about 15 percent of all strokes.

A recent study stated that stroke increases the risk of hip fractures by 2 to 4 times. This study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association investigated the role of folate and vitamin B12 supplementation in the prevention of these fractures. Researchers recruited 628 participants who had suffered from a stroke. These individuals received either placebo or 500mg of folate and 1500IU of vitamin B12 daily. 559 participants completed the study. After two years of treatment, the risk of fracture per 1000-patient years was 43 for the placebo group and 10 for the treatment group. The authors concluded that treatment with folate and vitamin B12 may reduce the risk of hip fracture after stroke.1


1. Sato Y, et al. Effect of Folate and Mecobalamin on Hip Fractures in Patients With Stroke. JAMA. Mar 2005; 293:1082-1088.