Serum homocysteine, MTHFR gene polymorphism, and carotid intimal-medial thickness in NIDDM subjects

Alfredo Mazza, Corradino Motti, Angela Nulli, Anna Pastore, Felicita Andreotti, Vincenzo Ammaturo, Pasquale Bianco, Elena Santoro, Giorgio Federici, Claudio Cortese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We assessed the contribution of serum homocysteine levels, an independent risk factor for vascular disease, and of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T mutation to the variability of carotid intimal-medial thickness (IMT) in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Ninety-five patients (33 males and 62 females, mean age 53 ± 10 years) without nephropathy or other vascular complications were enrolled. Fasting total serum homocysteine and other biochemical analytes were measured. The MTHFR polymorphism was determined by the polymerase chain reaction. Common carotid IMT and plaques or stenoses in the carotid district were measured by ultrasonography. Serum total homocysteine concentrations were higher in subjects with the mutant (Val/Val) genotype than in those with the Ala/Val plus Ala/Ala genotypes (P = 0.02). On univariate analysis, carotid IMT was significantly associated with age, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, and total cholesterolemia. No significant association was found between IMT and serum homocysteine or the MTHFR polymorphism, although a slightly greater IMT was observed in the homozygous Val genotypes. On multiple regression analysis, only age and BMI were independently associated with IMT and explained about 40% of IMT variability. The results did not change when the analysis was restricted to the subgroups with or without atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid district. In 95 Italian NIDDM patients without nephropathy, neither basal levels of serum total homocysteine nor the MTHFR C677T polymorphism predicted significant changes in common carotid intimal-medial thickness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Diabetes
  • Homocysteine
  • Intimal-medial thickness
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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