Background & aims: Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, dementia and depression. Prevalence rate of hyperhomocysteinemia in gastrectomized patients is not well elucidated.
Methods: We compared plasma total homocysteine, vitamin B12 and folate of gastrectomized male patients with those of control subjects.
Results: Total homocysteine was higher in gastrectomized patients than in control subjects (11.7 +/- 4.4 micromol/l vs. 9.3 +/- 2.4 micromol/l, P = .011), while vitamin B12 was lower in patients than in control subjects (382 +/- 211 pg/ml vs. 500 +/- 179 pg/ml, P = .020). Folate of the two groups was comparable (5.8 +/- 2.5 ng/ml vs. 5.9 +/- 2.2 ng/ml). Of 31 gastrectomized patients six (19.4%) showed low vitamin B12 (<233 pg/ml), four (12.9%) low folate (<3.0 ng/ml) and seven (22.6%) hyperhomocysteinemia (>14 micromol/l), whereas they were found in one (3.2%), none (0%) and one (3.2%) of 31 control subjects, respectively. Patients who had undergone gastrectomy because of cancer showed higher total homocysteine compared to patients who had undergone it because of peptic ulcer. Type of surgery did not correlate with total homocysteine in the present study.
Conclusion: Hyperhomocysteinemia is not rare in male Japanese gastrectomized patients.