Serum homocysteine is weakly associated with von Willebrand factor and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, but not with C-reactive protein in type 2 diabetic and non-diabetic subjects - The Hoorn Study

Eur J Clin Invest. 2000 Sep;30(9):763-70. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2362.2000.00706.x.


Background: Hyperhomocysteinaemia may constitute an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but it is still unclear by which pathophysiological mechanisms homocysteine (tHcy) may promote atherothrombosis. The aim of this study was firstly to examine whether tHcy is associated with endothelial dysfunction, increased adherence of leukocytes, and/or chronic low-grade inflammation, as estimated from plasma levels of von Willebrand factor (vWf), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1) and C-reactive protein (CRP), respectively. Secondly we investigated whether the presence of type 2 diabetes modifies these associations.

Materials and methods: Six hundred and ten subjects of a general population of middle-aged and elderly subjects, 170 of whom had type 2 diabetes, participated in this cross-sectional study. Linear regression analyses were used to study whether tHcy was associated with vWf, sVCAM-1 and CRP, and whether the presence of diabetes modified these associations.

Results: After adjustment for confounders, tHcy was significantly but weakly associated with vWf (beta = 0.15, P = 0.05) and sVCAM-1 (beta = 0.082, P = 0.04). tHcy was not significantly associated with CRP (beta = 0.02, P = 0.91). The presence of diabetes did not significantly modify these associations.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that tHcy is, at most, weakly associated with endothelial dysfunction as estimated from plasma vWf, and with leukocyte adhesion as estimated from plasma sVCAM-1. tHcy was not significantly associated with chronic low-grade inflammation as estimated from plasma CRP. Our data thus suggest that the link between tHcy and atherothrombosis cannot be explained by associations of tHcy with vWf, sVCAM-1 or CRP.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Female
  • Homocysteine / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • von Willebrand Factor / metabolism*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • von Willebrand Factor
  • Homocysteine
  • C-Reactive Protein