Results of some epidemiologic studies in Western countries have clarified that hyperhomocysteinemia is a plausible risk factor for atherosclerotic vascular disease, but its role in Japanese communities is not known. A community-based cross-sectional design. We performed a cross-sectional study of 474 elderly men aged 60-74 years in two Japanese rural communities (Noichi in southwestern Japan and Ikawa in northeastern Japan). We examined the association between plasma concentrations of homocysteine and the maximum intima-media thickness (assessed by ultrasonography). The prevalence of thickening was 10.7% for the lowest tertile of homocysteine level and 21.1% for the highest fertile. For the subjects without hypertension, the odds ratio for having carotid intima-media thickening was 5.8; it was significantly higher for the highest tertile of homocysteine level than it was for the lowest after adjusting for age, hypercholesterolemia, hypoalphalipoproteinemia, diabetes, and smoking by using a multiple logistic regression model. However, its correlation was not evident for those with hypertension. High levels of plasma homocysteine are correlated to extracranial carotid artery atherosclerosis in elderly men without hypertension in Japanese rural communities.
- carotid artery
- intima-media thickening
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine