Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Relation of plasma homocyst(e)ine to cerebral infarction and cerebral atherosclerosis.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A number of investigations support the theory that the elevated plasma homocyst(e)ine is associated with occlusive vascular disease. The aim of this study is to examine whether moderate hyperhomocyst(e)inemia is an independent risk factor for cerebral infarction. In addition, we examined the association between plasma homocyst(e)ine and the severity of cerebral atherosclerosis.

METHODS: We conducted a hospital-based case-control study with 140 male controls and 78 male patients with nonfatal cerebral infarction, aged between 39 and 82 years. Plasma homocyst(e)ine levels were analyzed in 218 subjects. Fifty-five patients were evaluated for cerebral vascular stenosis by MR angiography.

RESULTS: The mean plasma level of homocyst(e)ine was higher in cases than in controls (11.8+/-5.6 versus 9.6+/-4.1 micromol/L; P=0.002). The proportion of subjects with moderate hyperhomocyst(e)inemia was significantly higher in cases than in controls (16.7% versus 5.0%; P=0.004). Based on the logistic regression model, the odds ratio of the highest 5% of homocyst(e)ine levels in control group was 4.17 (95% confidence interval, 3.71 to 4. 71)(P=0.0001). After additional adjustment for total cholesterol, hypertension, smoking, diabetes, and age, the odds ratio was 1.70 (95% confidence interval, 1.48 to 1.95) (P=0.0001). The plasma homocyst(e)ine levels of patients having vessels with 3 or 2 stenosed sites were significantly higher than those of patients having vessels with 1 stenosed site or normal vessels (14.6+/-1.4, 11.0+/-1.4 versus 7.8+/-1.5, 8.9+/-1.4 micromol/L respectively; P<0. 02). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that moderate hyperhomocyst(e)ienemia was significantly associated with the number of stenosed vessels (P=0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that moderate hyperhomocyst(e)inemia is an independent risk factor for cerebral infarction and may predict the severity of cerebral atherosclerosis in patients with cerebral infarction.

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