Background Serum homocysteine, an intermediate, is produced during the metabolism of methionine. It has been related to the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease, heart failure and so on. On the other hand, it is a long-time issue whether atrial fibrillation will affect the mortality among patients with heart failure, which is still controversial. We argue that atrial fibrillation at least will alter the status of oxidative stress in patients with heart failure.
Methods 124 (72 men, mean age 64.1±10.5) patients from our hospital between January and June, 2010 were recruited. They were divided into four groups as follows: group 1, control, n=40; group 2, patients of heart failure (NYHA III-IV), n=24; group 3, patients of atrial fibrillation (NYHA I-II or over), n=24 and group 4, patients of atrial fibrillation with heart failure (NYHA III-IV), n=36. Homocysteine and C reactive protein (CRP) level were measured after hospitalisation.
Result There were no significant difference between the first three groups both in homocysteine (13.0±2.8 vs. 13.8±3.7 vs. 14.6±7.2) and CRP (4.5±4.0 vs. 6.8±3.2 vs. 6.8±5.1) level. The p values were 0.36, 0.63, 0.44 for homocysteine and 0.57, 0.98, 0.64 for CRP, respectively. While there was a huge difference between group 4 (homocysteine, 21.8±6.5; CRP, 23.2±13.1) and others groups, p value were all below 0.0001 for both of homocysteine and CRP.
Conclusion Our data indicated that the status of oxidative stress was much more obvious in heart failure patients (NYHA III-IV) with atrial fibrillation. In other words, atrial fibrillation and heart failure made patients highly stressed.