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Association of increased levels of homocysteine and peripheral arterial disease in a Japanese-Brazilian population.

OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to evaluate the possible association between homocysteine levels and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in a population-based study of Japanese-Brazilians.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was derived from a population-based survey on the prevalence of diabetes and associated diseases conducted in Japanese-Brazilians. A total of 1330 male and female subjects aged>or=30 years were submitted to clinical examination and laboratory procedures including homocysteine measurement. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) was calculated; subjects with ABI values <0.9 were diagnosed with PAD. The evaluable population included 1008 subjects. Logistic regression was used taking PAD as the dependent variable.

RESULTS: Mean age of the population was 56.5 years and overall prevalence of PAD was 20%. A worse cardiovascular profile was found in male patients, including significantly higher homocysteine levels (11.9+/-1.8 vs. 9.1+/-1.1micromol/L, p<0.001). Men with PAD had higher prevalence rates of hyperhomocysteinemia compared to women (22.7% vs 7.6%). Univariate analysis showed an odds ratio of hyperhomocysteinemia for PAD of 1.51 [1.02-2.25] in men and 1.69 [1.06-2.68] in women. After adjustment for other cardiovascular risk factors, higher levels of homocysteine were only significantly related to PAD in men.

CONCLUSION: In a Japanese-Brazilian population, elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with PAD in men. Prospective studies are necessary to confirm this finding.

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