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Methylmalonic acid, vitamin B12, and mortality risk in patients with preexisting coronary heart disease: a prospective cohort study.

Nutrition Journal 2023 November 30
BACKGROUND: The inconsistent relationship between Vitamin B12 (B12), methylmalonic acid (MMA, marker of B12 deficiency) and mortality was poorly understood, especially in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). This study aims to investigate the association of serum MMA, and B12-related biomarkers (serum level, dietary intake, supplement use, and sensibility to B12) with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in adults with CHD.

METHODS: The data of this study were from a subcohort within the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). We included adults with preexisting CHD with serum MMA and B12, and dietary B12 intake measurements at recruitment. All participants were followed up until 31 December 2019. Weighted Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% CI of mortality risk.

RESULTS: Overall, 1755 individuals (weighted mean [SE] age, 65.2 [0.5] years; 1047 men [weighted 58.5%]) with CHD were included, with geometric mean levels of serum MMA 182.4 nmol/L, serum B12 494.5 pg/ml, and dietary B12 intake 4.42 mg/day, and percentage of B12 supplements use 39.1%. During a median follow-up of 7.92 years, 980 patients died. Serum B12 concentration, dietary B12 intake and supplements use were not significantly associated with mortality risk (each p ≥ 0.388). In contrast, individuals in the top tertile of MMA had multivariable-adjusted HRs (95% CIs) of 1.70 (1.31-2.20) for all-cause mortality, and 2.00 (1.39-2.89) for cardiovascular mortality (both p trend < 0.001) compared to those in the bottom tertile of MMA. MMA-related mortality risk was particularly higher among participants with sufficient serum B12 (p < 0.001). CHD patients with increased levels of both MMA and B12 had a doubled mortality risk compared to those with lower MMA and B12 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: MMA accumulation but not serum or dietary vitamin B12 was associated with increased cardiovascular mortality risk among patients with CHD. This paradox may be related to decreased response to vitamin B12.

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