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Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2012 Dec;49(6):414-20.

Homocysteine in occlusive vascular disease: a risk marker or risk factor.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi 110060, India.


Homocysteine has emerged as a significant marker for occlusive vascular disease, but there has been some debate as to whether it is just an association (risk marker) or actually a causative factor (risk factor). To elucidate this, a retrospective statistical analysis was done of data generated in the course of our study on homocysteine and vascular disease. Homocysteine, lipid profile components and lipoprotein(a) were estimated in fasting blood samples drawn from 252 controls and 536 patients of occlusive vascular disease. The data were analyzed by SPSS version 17. Mean homocysteine levels were significantly higher (p < 0.001) in all patients categories, as compared to controls. In fact, homocysteine level was the most significant biochemical risk factor for vascular disease. The odds ratios due to hyperhomocysteinemia varied from 3.170-4.153. When the cut-off was increased by 5 micromol/L, the odds ratio became almost three-fold. The prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia increased by approximately equal to 20%, when the cut-off was reduced by 5 micromol/L. Statistical analysis of our data revealed that homocysteine conformed to Hill's criteria of causation. Moreover, hyperhomocysteinemia was treatable by the administration of B-vitamins, even if the cause was genetic. Hence morbidity due to vascular disease could be reduced by identification and treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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