[Serum total homocysteine and lipoproteins levels in young adults from urban and rural areas of Costa Rica]

Ileana Holst-Schumacher, Rafael Monge-Rojas, Mauro Barrantes-Santamaría
Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutrición 2006, 56 (4): 335-41
Serum total homocysteine and lipoproteins levels in young adults from urban and rural areas of Costa Rica. This study evaluated the lipid profile and the serum levels of total homocysteine of 400 adults aged 20 to 40 years, residents of rural and urban areas of the central valley of Costa Rica. The results showed that the proportion of subjects from urban areas with high levels of LDL-C (= 4.13 mmol/L) was 11% higher than the proportion of adults from rural areas (29.2% and 18.0%, p = 0.045). On the contrary, the proportion of rural subjects with low HDL-C levels (< 1.03 mmol/ L) was higher 19% than the proportion of urban adults (56.0% and 75.3%, p = 0.001). Rural residents also showed higher serum levels of triglycerides and total homocysteine than the urban residents, although the differences were not significant (TG: 1.94 mmol/L and 2.02 mmol/L, p = 0.529; TH: 9.33 micromol/L and 9.84 micromol/L, p = 0.145). The prevalences of hyperhomocysteinemia (>15 micromol/L), hypercholesterolemia (= 5.17 mmol/L) and hypertriglyceridemia (= 1.69 mmol/L) in the studied population were 5.8%, 53.6% and 50.1% respectively. 82% of the studied population had LDL-C levels above 2.58 mmol/L and approximately 61% of the adults had HDL-C levels lower than 1.03 mmol/L. Our data suggest that the studied costarrican population has a very high cardiovascular risk. The prevalence of low levels of HDL-C (< 1.03 mmol/L), marginal levels of total homocysteine and a tendency to have high levels of triglycerides were the most outstanding cardiovascular risk factors found in this population, specially in rural subjects, which could be associated with the quality of the diet of these habitants. It is necessary to develop effective intervention strategies to promote healthy lifestyles in the population in order to reduce the cardiovascular mortality rates in Costa Rica.

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