Changes in lifestyle and total homocysteine in relation to MTHFR(C677T) genotype: the Inter99 study

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Reduction in total homocysteine (tHcy) may be clinically relevant in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population.


To examine the effects of changes in various lifestyle habits and lifestyle related biological CVD risk markers on changes in tHcy in relation to MTHFR(C677T) genotype.


A 1 year follow-up study.


Copenhagen County, Denmark.


Statistical analyses were based on a population-based sample of 915 men and women aged 30-60 years assessed to be at increased CVD risk at baseline and therefore offered lifestyle intervention and re-examination after one year.


None of the studied lifestyle changes - smoking, physical activity, dietary habits, and coffee, tea, and alcohol consumption - was significantly associated with changes in tHcy, either overall, or in any of the MTHFR genotype subgroups. In addition, changes in tHcy did not differ between participants randomized to low- and high-intensity lifestyle intervention. However, the MTHFR TT genotype was associated with a significant decrease in tHcy compared with the CC/CT genotype in which an increase was observed. In addition, changes in tHcy were associated with changes in several of the biological CVD risk markers: weight, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure.


Our results indicate that tHcy may not be reduced by lifestyle changes; additionally, they suggest that tHcy may be related to biological CVD risk markers through a lifestyle independent pathway.


Danish Heart Foundation, Danish Medical Research Council, Danish Centre for Evaluation and Health Technology Assessment.

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