Hyperhomocysteinemia and the metabolic syndrome are established cardiovascular risk factors and are frequently associated with hypertension. The relationship of plasma homocysteine (Hcy) with the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, however, is debated and studies in hypertensive patients are limited. In this study, we have investigated the association of Hcy with the metabolic syndrome and cerebro- cardiovascular events in hypertension.
In 562 essential hypertensive patients who underwent accurate assessment of fasting and postload glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and renal function, we measured plasma levels of Hcy, vitamin B12, folate, and fibrinogen and assessed the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and of coronary heart and cerebrovascular disease (CVD).
Patients with the metabolic syndrome had significantly higher plasma Hcy levels. After correction for covariates, increasing Hcy levels were associated with an increasing prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and CVD. Plasma Hcy was directly correlated with age, waist circumference, fasting glucose, triglyceride, uric acid, and fibrinogen levels, and homeostatic model assessment index and inversely with creatinine clearance and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, vitamin B12, and folate levels. Logistic regression analysis showed an independent association of Hcy levels with age, male gender, vitamin B12 and folate levels, and the metabolic syndrome. Logistic regression indicated also an independent association of Hcy with cerebro-cardiovascular disease that was independent of the metabolic syndrome.
Elevated plasma Hcy is associated with the metabolic syndrome in hypertensive patients. Prevalence of events increases with increasing plasma Hcy levels suggesting a contribution of Hcy to cerebro-cardiovascular diseases in these patients.