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Open Access Research

Distribution of Serum Total Homocysteine and Its Association with Diabetes and Cardiovascular Risk Factors of the Insulin Resistance Syndrome in Mexican American Men: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Richard Gillum

Author Affiliations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland, USA

Nutrition Journal 2003, 2:6  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-2-6

Published: 5 August 2003

Abstract

Background

Few data have been published on the association of variables of the insulin resistance syndrome and serum total homocysteine (tHcy), a putative risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity, in representative samples of total populations or in Hispanic Americans.

Methods

To describe the distributions of serum tHcy concentration and variables associated with insulin resistance in Mexican American men and to assess their association, data from a cross-sectional survey of a large national sample, the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed. Analyses were restricted to Mexican American men aged 40–74 years with data on glycated hemoglobin (%), body mass index (BMI), body fat distribution, HDL cholesterol, fasting serum insulin, serum triglycerides and serum tHcy concentrations.

Results

Cumulative distributions of serum tHcy shifted to the right with increasing age. Log serum tHcy was not associated with prevalence of diagnosed diabetes mellitus or glycated hemoglobin percent or other risk factors other than age. Log serum tHcy concentration showed borderline significant (p = 0.049) positive association with fasting serum insulin concentration independent of age and BMI, only in men aged 60–74.

Conclusion

No consistent association of tHcy with diabetes prevalence or variables of the insulin resistance syndrome were found in Mexican American men aged 40–74 years. Further research is needed on the associations of serum tHcy concentration with insulin resistance and other components of the insulin resistance syndrome in persons of varying ethnicity.

Keywords:
Total homocysteine; serum; Hispanics; glucose tolerance; insulin; serum; diabetes mellitus; Obesity.