Deakin University

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Homocysteine levels in healthy New Zealanders and those with vascular disease

journal contribution
posted on 1999-11-26, 00:00 authored by Lynn RiddellLynn Riddell, A Chisholm, A Duncan, J I Mann
AIMS: Levels of plasma homocysteine (tHcy) have been shown to vary between populations. The aim of the present study was to determine tHcy levels in a New Zealand population to facilitate interpretation of international reference ranges. METHODS: Fasting tHcy levels were determined in 431 volunteer men and women, aged between 17 and 83 years, from the greater Otago region. Subjects with self-reported incidences of vascular disease (n=138) were compared with healthy control subjects (n=293). RESULTS: Mean (SD) fasting tHcy level of the entire population was 8.3(3.5) micromol/L and men had significantly higher levels than women (9.0(3.4) and 7.8(3.5) micromol/L, respectively, p<0.05). Levels increased significantly with increasing age (0.5 micromol/L for every ten years). There was a small but non-significant difference in tHcy levels between subjects with and without vascular disease (difference after excluding two outliers and adjusting for age and gender; 0.63, 95% CI, -0.03,1.29). tHcy levels were not significantly correlated with lipid or lipoprotein levels. CONCLUSION: Levels of tHcy in a group of volunteers from the greater Otago region were similar to those reported in other populations at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Reference ranges derived from these populations would appear to be applicable for New Zealanders. tHcy measurements should be made when assessing individuals at high risk of vascular disease and intervention strategies considered.



New Zealand Medical Journal






438 - 442


New Zealand Medical Association


Wellington, N.Z.





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

1999, The Authors