Serum homocysteine and coronary heart disease

D. S. Wald, M. R. Law, N. J. Wald and J. K. Morris

in Coronary Heart Disease Epidemiology

Second edition

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780198525738
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191724114 | DOI:
Serum homocysteine and coronary heart disease

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This chapter discusses the link between serum homocysteine and coronary heart disease (CHD). Genetic studies show a moderately higher risk of CHD for a moderately higher level of serum homocysteine. Prospective studies show a positive association between serum homocysteine and cardiovascular disease after allowance for confounding. Although these two types of study are susceptible to different sources of error, they show quantitatively similar associations, a result that is unlikely to have occurred through different potential sources of confounding acting independently. The homocystinurias cause high serum homocysteine levels and high risks of premature cardiovascular disease, and lowering serum homocysteine reduces this high risk. These observations provide a compelling case for a cause and effect relationship between homocysteine and CHD and, therefore, a protective role for folic acid on CHD prevention.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; CHD; folic acid; homocysteine levels

Chapter.  5170 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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