Aims: Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is known to increase the risk of many diseases. Factors influencing HHcy in healthy and hypertensive subjects remain under-researched.
Methods: A large population-based study was conducted in 60 communities from Shenzhen, China. Responses to standardized questions on lifestyle factors and blood samples were collected from all participants after a 12-h overnight fast. Multiple linear and multivariate logistic regressions were used to explore risk factors for HHcy. Results were then compared to those from a systematic review of English-language articles listed in Pubmed, EBSCOhost, Web of Science, Embase and Cochrane libraries that investigated HHcy risk factors in healthy and hypertensive subjects.
Results: A total of 1586 healthy (Male/Female = 642/944) and 5935 hypertensive subjects (Male/Female = 2928/3007) participated in our population-based study. In logistic regression analyses, age, BMI and creatinine (Cr) were risk factors, while being female, fruit intake and physical activity were protective factors for HHcy in healthy subjects. In hypertensive subjects, seven [age, smoking, salt intake, systolic blood pressure (SBP), uric acid, triglycerides (TG), and Cr] and four [female, fruit intake, total cholesterol (TC), and glucose] factors were associated with higher and lower HHcy respectively. The review of 71 studies revealed that potential risk factors for Hcy included nutritional, physiologic, lifestyle habits, ethnicity, genetics, interactions between gene-environment, gene-gene, gene-nutritional, environment-environment, nutritional-nutritional.
Conclusion: Our study indicates the potential importance of increasing folic acid and vitamin B supplementation, daily fruit and vegetable intake, regular exercise and refraining from tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption as preventive strategies for Hcy.