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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 27;9(1):e85938. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085938. eCollection 2014.

Plasma homocysteine is associated with aortic arterial stiffness but not wave reflection in Chinese hypertensive subjects.

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  • 1Department of Geriatric Cardiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.
  • 2Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.



Elevated plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) acts synergistically with hypertension to exert a multiplicative effect on cardiovascular diseases risk. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between tHcy concentration and blood pressure, and to evaluate the role of plasma tHcy in arterial stiffness and wave reflection in hypertension.


In this cross-sectional study, a community-based sample of 1680 subjects (mean age 61.6 years) was classified into four groups according to tHcy level (<21.6 vs. ≥ 21.6 µmol/l) and blood pressure (hypertensive vs. normotensive). Levels of plasma tHcy and other biochemical parameters (e.g., lipids, glucose) were determined. Central arterial blood pressure, reflected pressure wave, and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cf-PWV) were assessed by tonometry within 2 days of obtaining the blood specimen.


Neither peripheral nor central blood pressure differed according to tHcy levels in normotensive and hypertensive subjects. Differences in cf-PWV according to tHcy were observed only in hypertensive subjects; differences in cf-PWV in normotensive subjects were not significant after adjusting for confounding factors. Central augmentation index did not differ according to tHcy level in either normotensive or hypertensive subjects. Results of univariate analysis revealed significant correlations between blood pressure parameters and tHcy concentration only among normotensive subjects; however, these correlations were not significant in a partial correlation analysis. Results of multiple regression analysis showed that plasma tHcy levels were independently correlated with cf-PWV in hypertensive subjects (β = 0.713, P = 0.004). The independent relationship between tHcy and central augmentation index was not significant by further multiple analyses in normotensive or hypertensive individuals.


Plasma tHcy level is strongly and independently correlated with arterial stiffness measured as cf-PWV only in hypertensive subjects. Thus, hypertension is a major link between tHcy and aortic arterial stiffness.

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