Background: Although well-defined in the general population, correlates of total homocysteine (tHcy) plasma concentration have not been sufficiently evaluated in diabetes. We investigated factors potentially associated with tHcy concentration in a cohort of type 2 diabetic subjects.
Materials and methods: The common methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism, fasting tHcy, vitamin B12 and folate plasma levels were assessed in 312 diabetic subjects, whose clinical, metabolic and lifestyle information was also available.
Results: The MTHFR genotype distribution was comparable to the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, with an overall TT homozygous frequency of 22%. Fasting tHcy concentration was significantly higher in men than in women (P < 0.001). Multivariate-adjusted tHcy concentration was significantly different across the quartiles of age (P < 0.001), folate (P = 0.01), vitamin B12 (P = 0.03), creatinine concentrations (P = 0.001) and smoking (P = 0.02). Overall, significant trends were noted for creatinine clearance (P for trend = 0.02) and systolic blood pressure (BP) (unadjusted P for trend = 0.01), whereas no differences were noted according to BMI, diastolic BP, presence of hypertension, and diabetes-related variables, such as diabetes duration, fasting glucose and glycated haemoglobin concentrations, current treatment and diabetes long-term complications. Total homocysteine levels significantly correlated with age, systolic BP, vitamin B12, creatinine and creatinine clearance, but only age, creatinine, folate and vitamin B12 levels were independently associated with tHcy concentration in stepwise regression analysis.
Conclusions: Age, creatinine, folate, vitamin B12, and to a minor extent, sex, smoking, TT genotype and systolic BP were significantly associated with Hcy plasma concentration in type 2 diabetes, whereas no significant associations were noted with diabetes-related variables.