Suppression of homocysteine levels by vitamin B12 and folates: Age and gender dependency in the Jackson heart study

Olivia R. Henry, Hamed Benghuzzi, Herman A. Taylor, Michelle Tucci, Kenneth Butler, Lynne Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Introduction: To examine factors potentially contributing to premature cardiovascular disease mortality in African Americans (40% versus 20% all other populations), plasma homocysteine, serum vitamin B12 and folate levels were examined for African American participants in the Jackson Heart Study. Methods: Of 5192 African American Jackson Heart Study participants (21-94 years), 5064 (mean age, 55 ± 13 years; 63% female) had homocysteine levels measured via fasting blood samples, with further assessments of participants' vitamin B12 (n = 1790) and folate (n = 1788) levels. Regression analyses were used to examine age, gender, vitamin B12 and folate with homocysteine levels. Results: Homocysteine levels, a purported surrogate risk factor for cardiovascular disease, increased with age, were inversely proportional to folate and vitamin B12 levels (P < 0.001) and were higher for men of all ages. Conclusions:The results show that, as with other populations, age, gender, vitamin B12 and folate may predict homocysteine levels for African Americans. Diet may be an important predictive factor as well, given the relationships that were observed between plasma homocysteine and serum B vitamin levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-115
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • African Americans
  • Folic acid
  • Homocysteine
  • Jackson heart study
  • Vitamin B12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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