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Eur J Clin Invest. 2002 Jan;32(1):24-8.

Plasma homocysteine, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene polymorphism and carotid intima-media thickness in Italian type 2 diabetic patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.



Moderately elevated levels of homocysteine have been associated with an increased cardiovascular risk in type 2 diabetic patients. The role of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene polymorphism is less clear.


We investigated the contribution of plasma homocysteine levels and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene polymorphism to the variability of carotid intima-media thickness in 124 consecutive Italian patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Fasting plasma homocysteine was measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography with an electrochemical detector; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction and restriction enzyme digestion. The carotid intima-media thickness was evaluated with high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography.


Age, creatinine and plasma homocysteine levels showed a positive correlation with mean carotid intima-media thickness values, but only age and creatinine levels were still associated with mean carotid intima-media thickness values in the multivariate analysis. Plasma homocysteine levels were significantly higher in the patients bearing the 677T/677T genotype of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism; mean carotid intima-media thickness values were not different in the three different methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase genotypes.


In 124 Italian patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, basal levels of plasma homocysteine, as well as methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene polymorphism, did not explain the variability of mean carotid intima-media thickness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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