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Blood. 2004 Nov 15;104(10):3046-51. Epub 2004 Jun 29.

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism (C677T), hyperhomocysteinemia, and risk of ischemic cardiovascular disease and venous thromboembolism: prospective and case-control studies from the Copenhagen City Heart Study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev University Hospital, Herlev Ringvej 75, DK-2730 Herlev, Denmark.


Hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with ischemic cardiovascular disease (ICD) and venous thromboembolism (VTE). We tested the hypothesis that methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T homozygosity with hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with ICD and VTE. First, 9238 randomly selected whites from the general population were followed for 23 years. Second, 2125 whites with ischemic heart disease and 836 whites with ischemic cerebrovascular disease were compared with 7568 controls from the general population. Plasma homocysteine was elevated 25% in homozygotes versus noncarriers (P < .001) and 19% in ICD/VTE cases versus controls (P < .001). In prospective studies adjusted hazard ratios for ICD and VTE for homozygotes versus noncarriers did not differ from 1.0. Furthermore, MTHFR C677T homozygosity was not associated with increased risk of ICD or VTE in subgroups after stratification for sex, age, cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lipoprotein(a), fibrinogen, triglycerides, body mass index, smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and factor V Leiden genotype. Finally, in case-control studies odds ratios for ischemic heart disease and ischemic cerebrovascular disease in homozygotes versus noncarriers did not differ from 1.0. In conclusion, MTHFR C677T homozygosity with hyperhomocysteinemia is not associated with ICD or VTE; however, ICD/VTE is associated with hyperhomocysteinemia. Therefore, ICD and VTE may cause hyperhomocysteinemia, rather than vice versa.

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