Objective: Few studies have examined the roles of homocysteine and related nutrients in the development of peripheral artery disease (PAD). We examined the associations between plasma homocysteine, dietary B vitamins, betaine, choline, and supplemental folic acid use and incidence of PAD.
Methods: We used two cohort studies of 72,348 women in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS, 1990-2010) and 44,504 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS, 1986-2010). We measured plasma homocysteine in nested matched case-control studies of clinically recognized PAD within both cohorts, including 143 PAD cases and 424 controls within the NHS (1990-2010) and 143 PAD cases and 428 controls within the HPFS (1994-2008). We examined the association between diet and risk of incident PAD in the cohorts using a food frequency questionnaire and 790 cases of PAD over 3.1 million person-years of follow-up.
Results: Higher homocysteine levels were positively associated with risk of PAD in men (adjusted IRR 2.17; 95% CI, 1.08-4.38 for tertile 3 vs. 1). There was no evidence of an association in women (adjusted IRR 1.14; 95% CI, 0.61-2.12). Similarly, higher folate intake, including supplements, was inversely associated with risk of PAD in men (adjusted HR 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-0.98 for each 250 μg increase) but not women (HR 1.01, 95% CI, 0.88-1.15). Intakes of the other B vitamins, betaine, and choline were not consistently associated with risk of PAD in men or women.
Conclusion: Homocysteine levels were positively associated and dietary folate intake was inversely associated with risk of PAD in men but not in women.
Keywords: Betaine; Choline; Folate; Homocysteine; Peripheral artery disease; Riboflavin; Vitamin B12; Vitamin B6.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.