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Distribution and Determinants of Plasma Homocysteine Levels in Rural Chinese Twins across the Lifespan

Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease, Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, E4132 Baltimore, MD 21205-2179, USA
Anzen Hospital, Beijing Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China
Institute of Biomedicine, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China
National Clinical Research Center for Kidney Disease, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program, Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
School of Health Administration, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China
Department of Cardiology, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing 100034, China
Division of General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205-2179, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2014, 6(12), 5900-5914;
Received: 3 September 2014 / Revised: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 November 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
Plasma homocysteine (Hcy) is a modifiable, independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is affected by both environmental and genetic factors. This study aimed to describe the gender- and age-specific distribution of Hcy concentration for 1117 subjects aged 10–66 years, a subset of a community-based rural Chinese twin cohort. In addition, we examined environmental and genetic contributions to variances in Hcy concentration by gender and age groups. We found that the distribution pattern for Hcy varied by both age and gender. Males had higher Hcy than females across all ages. Elevated Hcy was found in 43% of male adults and 13% of female adults. Moreover, nearly one fifth of children had elevated Hcy. Genetic factors could explain 52%, 36% and 69% of the variation in Hcy concentration among children, male adults and female adults, respectively. The MTHFR C677T variant was significantly associated with Hcy concentrations. Smokers with the TT genotype had the highest Hcy levels. Overall, our results indicate that elevated Hcy is prevalent in the children and adults in this rural Chinese population. The early identification of elevated Hcy will offer a window of opportunity for the primary prevention of CVD and metabolic syndrome. View Full-Text
Keywords: homocysteine; Chinese twins; heritability; gender difference; smoking homocysteine; Chinese twins; heritability; gender difference; smoking
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Ji, Y.; Kong, X.; Wang, G.; Hong, X.; Xu, X.; Chen, Z.; Bartell, T.; Xu, X.; Tang, G.; Hou, F.; Huo, Y.; Wang, X.; Wang, B. Distribution and Determinants of Plasma Homocysteine Levels in Rural Chinese Twins across the Lifespan. Nutrients 2014, 6, 5900-5914.

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