Biomedical Research

Journal Banner

Gender: a primary homocysteine level-effecting factor for patients suffering homocysteine-related diseases

Introduction: Elevated homocysteine level (eHcy, or hyper-homocysteinemia) has proven as an independent risk for thrombotic vascular diseases. The digging of factors that effect homocysteine (Hcy) levels can benefit the prevention of the Hcy level elevation, aiming to decrease the prevalence of thrombotic vascular diseases.

Methods: A total of 1371 subjects were recruited for the study. These subjects were divided into three groups according to the category of diseases. In Group 1, 842 patients who bear coronary atherosclerosis were involved. Group 2 consisted of 369 patients suffering from cerebral atherosclerosis. And the remaining 160 patients with acute pancreatitis (AP) made Group 3. The effects of gender, lifestyle conditions (such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption), and age on Hcy levels were individually investigated for the three groups.

Results: Significant difference of the Hcy levels was not observed for the male patients having different smoking and drinking habits. The mean Hcy levels for the male patients were about 5 μmol/L higher than those for the female patients. Except those older than 85 years, patients in the same gender had similar Hcy levels between age periods.

Conclusions: Our research results further strengthen the prevalent viewpoint that male patients suffering from the eHcy associated diseases bear higher Hcy levels than female patients, which may provide explanation why male population has higher prevalence of eHcy associated diseases. The results of this study also indicated that different genders may have different Hcy control targets, which means that the normal range of Hcy levels 5 ~ 15 μmol/L may not be suitable for both genders.

Author(s): Ai-Feng Wang, Mei Zhang, Lian-CaiWang, Qiao-Yan Li