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Agnieszka Wasilewska, Mirosława Narkiewicz, Bolesław Rutkowski, Wiesława Łysiak-Szydłowska
Med Sci Monit 2003; 9(3): CR147-151
BACKGROUND: There is increasing evidence that plasma homocysteine level is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. Low levels of serum folates, cobalamin and pyridoxine are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Most dietary products contain cholesterol as well as methionine, so hyperlipidemia could be associated with a higher level of homocysteine and inversely with lower levels of B vitamins. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in levels of lipids and vitamins affecting homocysteine metabolism in different groups of patients. MATERIAL/METHODS: We examined 38 healthy persons, 55 patients hospitalised for cardiac surgery, and 62 patients without clinical evidence of atherosclerosis but with one of the atherosclerosis risk factors (hypercholesterolemia, NIDDM or chronic renal insufficiency). The levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, vitamin B12, folic acid and vitamin B6 index in serum were determined using routine laboratory methods. RESULTS: We found no association between lipids and B vitamins in any examined group. There were significant differences between concentrations of analysed parameters in all groups of patients as compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS: The lack of correlation between the levels of lipid parameters and B vitamins in serum indicates that these may be independent, additional risk factors for atherosclerosis. Higher vitamin B6 deficiency in dialysis patients is probably caused by low intake combined with the increased requirements of uremic patients. Permanent monitoring of B vitamins in serum is necessary in patients with elevated risk of atherosclerosis, as well as long-term education, careful diet planning and supplementation.