Heart Disease caused by homocysteine
What is homocysteine?
Can elevated homocysteine levels be genetic?
How common is hyperhomocysteinemia?
How can homocysteine levels be lowered?
Does a lowering homocysteine level prevent heart attacks and strokes?
Who should undergo testing for homocysteine blood levels?
Common levels in Western populations are 10 to 12, and levels of 20 μmol/L are found in populations with low B-vitamin intakes or in the older elderly (e.g., Rotterdam, Framingham). Women have 10-15% less homocysteine during their reproductive decades than men, which may help explain the fact they suffer myocardial infarction (heart attacks) on average 10 to 15 years later than men
Abnormally high levels of homocysteine in the serum, above 15 µmol/L, are a medical condition calledhyperhomocysteinemia. This has been claimed to be a significant risk factor for the development of a wide range of diseases, including thrombosis, neuropsychiatric illness, and fractures. It is also found to be associated with microalbuminuria which is a strong indicator of the risk of future cardiovascular disease and renal dysfunction.