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Serum homocysteine concentrations and their relation to serum folate and vitamin B12 concentrations and coronary artery disease prevalence in an urban, bi-ethnic community.


Lindeman RD, Romero LJ, Yau CL, Koehler KM, Baumgartner RN, Garry PJ.




Ethn Dis


OBJECTIVE: To compare fasting serum total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations in a randomly selected sample of elderly (> or = 65 years of age) Hispanic and non-Hispanic White (NHW) men and women, to examine associations of tHcy with folate and vitamin B12, and then to correlate these with the prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in these 4 ethnic/ gender groups. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Equal numbers of Hispanic and NHW men and women were randomly selected from the Healthcare Financing Administration (Medicare) registrant list for Bernalillo County (Albuquerque), New Mexico, and asked to volunteer for a paid home interview, to be followed by a paid, comprehensive interview/examination covering health and health-related issues. INTERVENTIONS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Serum concentrations of tHcy, folate, and vitamin B12 were determined and correlated with the prevalence of CHD, after adjusting for other CHD risk factors (age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, dyslipidemia, adiposity). RESULTS: Men and Hispanics had higher serum tHcy concentrations compared to women and non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs), respectively. After adjusting for lower concentrations of serum folate and vitamin B12 in Hispanics, the differences between Hispanics and NHWs were no longer significant. There was a direct association between serum tHcy concentrations and the prevalence of CHD after adjusting for other known risk factors that was most significant in Hispanic women. CONCLUSIONS: The higher serum tHcy concentrations observed in Hispanics compared to NHWs can be explained by lower levels of serum folate and vitamin B12. A direct association between serum tHcy concentrations and prevalence of CHD was observed primarily in women, and was most significant in Hispanic women.

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