Plasma homocysteine levels and risk of Alzheimer disease

Neurology. 2004 Jun 8;62(11):1972-6. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000129504.60409.88.

Abstract

Objective: To explore the association between high homocysteine levels and risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) in the Washington Heights-Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP).

Methods: The authors obtained fasting plasma samples in 909 elderly subjects chosen at random from a cohort of Medicare recipients; there was longitudinal data in 679 subjects without dementia at baseline who were followed for 3,206 person-years. Prevalent and incident dementia and its subtypes were diagnosed using standard methods.

Results: There were 128 persons with prevalent AD and 109 with incident AD in 3,206 person-years of follow-up. The adjusted OR of prevalent AD for the highest quartile of homocysteine compared to the lowest was 1.3 (95% CI = 0.7, 2.3; p for trend = 0.25). In longitudinal analyses, the authors found that the adjusted hazard ratio of AD for the highest quartile of homocysteine was 1.4 (95% CI = 0.8, 2.4; p for trend = 0.31). The authors also found that high homocysteine levels were not related to a decline in memory scores over time. Age was a significant confounder in all the analyses. The study had 80% power to detect a hazard ratio of 1.3 in the longitudinal analyses.

Conclusion: High homocysteine levels were not associated with AD and were not related to a decrease in memory scores over time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cysteine / blood
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Homocysteine / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia / blood
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood
  • Vitamin B 6 / blood

Substances

  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Homocysteine
  • Vitamin B 6
  • Folic Acid
  • Cysteine
  • Vitamin B 12