A proinflammatory state is associated with hyperhomocysteinemia in the elderly

Anna Maria Gori, Anna Maria Corsi, Sandra Fedi, Alessandra Gazzini, Francesco Sofi, Benedetta Bartali, Stefania Bandinelli, Gian Franco Gensini, Rosanna Abbate, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The mechanism by which high circulating homocysteine concentrations are a risk factor for atherothrombosis is incompletely understood. A proinflammatory state is related to atherosclerosis, and recent studies suggest that acute phase reactants correlate with circulating concentrations of homocysteine. Objective: We determined whether high concentrations of inflammatory markers are associated with hyperhomocysteinemia independently of dietary vitamin intakes, vitamin concentrations, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in a large, representative sample of the general population. Design: Five hundred eighty-six men and 734 women were randomly selected from the inhabitants of 2 small towns near Florence, Italy. Results: After adjustment for multiple potential confounders, interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) concentrations were significantly (P <0.001) associated with plasma homocysteine concentrations in older (>65 y) populations. Compared with participants in the lowest IL-6 tertile, those in the highest tertile had a higher risk of having homocysteine concentrations that were high (>30 μmol/L; odds ratio: 2.6; 95% CI: 1.1, 5.6; P = 0.024) or in the intermediate range 15-30 μmol/L (odds ratio: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.2, 2.2; P = 0.0014). Sedentary state, intakes of vitamin B-6 and folic acid, and serum folate, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, and α-tocopherol concentrations were significant independent correlates of homocysteine. Conclusions: High circulating concentrations of IL-1ra and IL-6 are independent correlates of hyperhomocysteinemia and may explain, at least in part, the association between homocysteine and atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-341
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Cytokines
  • Homocysteine
  • InCHIANTI Study
  • Inflammation
  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients
  • Vitamin concentrations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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