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Jan Nilsson


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Plasma Homocysteine and Cardiovascular Organ Damage in a Population with a High Prevalence of Risk Factors


  • Michaela Kozakova
  • Carmela Morizzo
  • Giuseppe Penno
  • Angela C. Shore
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Carlo Palombo

Summary, in English

PURPOSE: It is unclear whether plasma homocysteine (Hcy) has a direct noxious impact on the cardiovascular (CV) system or whether its association with cardiovascular events (CVEs) is mediated by established risk factors. To explore the role of Hcy in CV impairment, the study evaluated cross-sectional relationships between plasma Hcy and indices of CV organ damage together with the associations of these indices with the history of CVEs. METHODS: In 269 patients with a high prevalence of diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension, the carotid intima-media thickness, ankle-brachial index (ABI), reactive hyperemic index, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), left ventricular (LV) mass, and cardiac index were measured. RESULTS: 132 patients had carotid plaque, 31 ABI < 0.90, 126 endothelial dysfunction, 66 increased cfPWV, 125 LV hypertrophy (LVH), 153 decreased cardiac index, and 115 a history of CVEs. Plasma Hcy levels were related to LV mass and ABI, after adjustment for covariates and creatinine. Significantly higher Hcy levels were found in patients with LVH (8.5 [4.4] vs 7.6 [2.8] μmol/L; adjusted P = .001) and ABI < 0.9 (10.4 [3.8] vs 7.9 [3.4] μmol/L; adjusted P = .001) than in those with LV mass and ABI within limits. Hcy levels were comparable between patients with and without carotid plaques, increased arterial stiffness, impaired endothelial, and LV pump function. Within markers of CV organ damage, only LVH was associated with a history of CVEs. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated an independent association between Hcy and LV mass as well as between LVH and a history of CVEs and suggests that LVH may represent 1 of the pathophysiologic links between Hcy and CV risk.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden

Publishing year





The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism





Document type

Journal article


Oxford University Press


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • arterial stiffness
  • cardiovascular events
  • homocysteine
  • left ventricular hypertrophy



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis


  • ISSN: 1945-7197