Folate nutritional genetics and risk for hypertension in an elderly population sample

J Nutrigenet Nutrigenomics. 2009;2(1):1-8. doi: 10.1159/000160079. Epub 2008 Oct 8.


Background/aims: 118 elderly participants (65-90 years) were assessed for any relationship between folate, related genes and hypertension.

Methods: Six B-vitamin-related SNPs were genotyped in 80 normotensive and 38 hypertensive subjects.

Results: Of six polymorphisms (677C>T-MTHFR, 1298A>C-MTHFR, 80G>A-RFC, 2756A>G-MS, 66A>G- MSR, 19bpDHFR and 1561C>T-GCPII), only 677C>T-MTHFR was a significant risk for hypertension: OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.07-3.32 (chi2 p = 0.038). Additionally, hypertensive subjects had a significantly lower intake of dietary folate than normotensive individuals (p = 0.0221), although this did not markedly alter blood metabolite levels. Several significant linear associations between dietary folate and related blood metabolites were found in normotensive subjects (p < 0.001 for Hcy, red cell and serum folate) and were as predicted on an a priori basis -- generally weaker associations existed in hypertensive subjects (p < 0.05 for serum folate). This was true for data examined collectively or by genotype. Multiple-regression analysis for diastolic or systolic blood pressure showed significant interaction for gender and folate intake (p = 0.014 and 0.019, respectively). In both cases this interaction occurred only in females, with higher folate intake associated with decreased blood pressure. Regressing diastolic blood pressure and 677C>T-MTHFR genotype showed significance (males; p = 0.032) and borderline significance (all subjects).

Conclusion: Dietary folate and 677C>T-MTHFR genotype may modify blood pressure.

MeSH terms

  • 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate-Homocysteine S-Methyltransferase / genetics
  • Aged*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase / genetics
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Folic Acid / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / genetics*
  • Male
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2) / genetics
  • Nutrigenomics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Population
  • Reduced Folate Carrier Protein
  • Risk Factors


  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Reduced Folate Carrier Protein
  • SLC19A1 protein, human
  • Folic Acid
  • methionine synthase reductase
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2)
  • 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate-Homocysteine S-Methyltransferase