2016 Volume 23 Issue 6 Pages 681-691
Aim: Observational studies have reported that elevated homocysteine (Hcy) levels are associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, interventions that lower Hcy do not provide a corresponding risk reduction. Therefore, the causal role of Hcy in CVD remains unclear. This 5-year prospective study investigated the associations of Hcy levels, folate intake, and host factors with arterial stiffness among the general Japanese population.
Methods: We prospectively recruited 658 participants (40–69 years old) from the general population during regular health checkup examinations. Arterial stiffness was evaluated using the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) at baseline and the 5-year follow-up. Folate intake was estimated using a structured questionnaire. Genotyping was used to evaluate the MTHFR C677T and MS A2756G gene polymorphisms. Ultrafast liquid chromatography was used to measure total plasma Hcy levels. Association between these variables and CAVI values was evaluated using general linear regression and logistic regression models that were adjusted for atherosclerosis-related factors.
Results: Men had higher Hcy levels and CAVI values and lower folate intake than women (all, p＜0.001). At baseline, Hcy, folate intake, and the two genotypes were not associated with CAVI values for both sexes. Among men, Hcy levels were positively associated with CAVI values at the 5-year follow-up (p=0.033). Folate intake and the two genotypes were not associated with the 5-year CAVI values.
Conclusion: Plasma Hcy may be involved in arterial stiffness progression, as monitored using CAVI, among men.