Significance of evaluating homocysteine levels as a risk factor in vascular diseases
Bhargava, S. and Parakh, R. (2002) Significance of evaluating homocysteine levels as a risk factor in vascular diseases. 9th APCCB and 28 th Annual Conference of ACBI, 89.
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Homocysteine (Hey) is a branch-point metabolite, the biologic fate of which is linked to vitamin B12, reduced folates and vitamin B6. It is a non-protein forming amino-acid whose metabolism is at the intersection of two metabolic pathways: remethylation and transsulfuration. Whether it is defective synthesis of N5methyltetrahydrofolate or defective Hey remethylation or, even, defective action of cystathionine-B-synthetase, the result is hyperhomocysteinemia. This causes oxidative and other damage to blood vessels, thus affecting various organ systems of the body. As part of our ongoing research on cardiovascular risk factors, we have studied the Hey levels in the plasma of normal controls and those suffering from vascular diseases. It was observed that Hey is significantly higher in patients of vascular diseases (21.01 1.64, mean SEM), as compared to normal controls (11.58 0.27). This significance was more pronounced in cases of venous thrombosis (24.98 2.81) as opposed to cases of arterial block (16.55 1.73). This signifies that Hey estimation would be beneficial in obtaining a differential diagnosis in addition to being a modifiable vascular risk factor.
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