Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy, total homocysteine concentrations > 15 μmol/L) has been associated with increased risk of many diseases. A systematic review was performed to summarize the prevalence of HHcy in China. We searched multiple international and Chinese scientific databases for relevant literature, and further manually screened reference lists and corresponded with original authors. Pooled prevalence of HHcy was calculated using random effects model. Subgroup analysis, meta-regression and sensitivity analysis were also performed. A total of 36 studies consisting 60,754 subjects (57.3% male; age range, 3–97 years) were finally included. The overall pooled prevalence of HHcy was 27.5%. Geographically, the prevalence was high in north areas, intermediate in central areas, and low in south areas, and was higher in inland versus
coastal areas. The prevalence increased with age and was significantly higher in men than in women. Rural residents had a slightly higher HHcy prevalence than urban residents, and the studies conducted during 2006 to 2012 presented a higher HHcy prevalence than those during 1990 to 2005. In summary, the prevalence of HHcy in China is high, particularly in northern populations, the inlanders, males, and the elderly. Homocysteine-lowering strategies are necessary to reduce this highly preventable disorder.
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