Arabs have a lower incidence of atherosclerosis than other ethnicities, but few studies have examined homocysteine (HCYS) as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in this population. Here, we investigated the association between serum HYCS levels and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (smoking, hypertension, and family history of diabetes) in Saudi males. A total of 50 smokers and 72 nonsmokers completed a general health questionnaire. In addition, their lipid profiles were measured using routine methods and HCYS levels by high-performance liquid chromatograph with electrochemical detection. Regression analysis showed negative associations between HCYS and glucose (r = −0.22; P < 0.05) as well as family history of diabetes (r = −0.21; P < 0.05). HCYS levels were similar between hypertensive and nonhypertensive smokers, but they were significantly elevated in hypertensive nonsmokers (P = 0.027) and lower in smokers with family history of diabetes (P = 0.01). Levels of HCYS among nonsmokers inversely correlated with history of diabetes and elevated glucose. Nonsmokers’ HCYS levels were significantly elevated in the presence of hypertension and correlated with diastolic blood pressure. Thus, HCYS may be a predictor of hypertension among nonsmokers. Until further trials are conducted, we recommend vitamin B6/folic acid supplementation for the Saudi hypertensive population as an adjuvant therapy.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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