The increase of plasma homocysteine concentrations with age is partly due to the deterioration of renal function as determined by plasma cystatin C

Clin Chem Lab Med. 1998 Mar;36(3):175-8. doi: 10.1515/CCLM.1998.032.


One of the main determinants of plasma homocysteine in healthy subjects is serum creatinine. In the present study, we therefore investigated the relation between plasma homocysteine concentration, serum creatinine and a new marker for glomerular filtration rate, plasma cystatin C concentration. Cystatin C reflects the glomerular filtration better than serum creatinine and is not related to the muscle mass and formation of creatinine. The study group consisted of 255 healthy subjects from a well-defined area in the southern part of Sweden. The concentration of plasma homocysteine was increased in men compared to women. This difference disappeared when men and women were stratified by serum creatinine values. Statistically significant correlations were noted between plasma homocysteine and age, plasma cystatin C and serum creatinine. It is shown that plasma homocysteine is not only correlated to serum creatinine as a result of renal function but also as a result of the relationship between homocysteine production and creatine-creatinine synthesis. Using linear regression we were able to show that plasma cystatin C had a higher explanatory value than age. Serum creatinine showed a lower explanatory power than age. The findings in the present study might suggest that the increase of plasma homocysteine concentration with age could be partly due to the deterioration of renal function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / blood*
  • Creatinine / blood*
  • Cystatin C
  • Cystatins / blood*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Homocysteine / blood*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden


  • CST3 protein, human
  • Cystatin C
  • Cystatins
  • Homocysteine
  • Creatinine