Plasma Total Homocysteine Levels in Children with Type 1 Diabetes: Relationship with Vitamin Status, Methylene Tetrahydrofolate Reductase Genotype, Disease Parameters and Coronary Risk Factors

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Abstract

The objectives of this study were: to determine plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) levels and the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia in children with type 1 diabetes, to determine correlates of plasma tHcy levels with nutritional factor such as serum folic acid and vitamin B12 levels, genetic factors as methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphism (C677T and A1298C), to attempt to identify possible dependencies between tHcy and the degree of metabolic control, the duration of the disease and presence of complications, and also to determine the relationship between other coronary risk factors. Plasma tHcy levels and other related parameters performed in 32 children with type 1 diabetes and 23 age-sex matched healthy children. Median tHcy level was higher in the patient group (11.38, 3.28 to 66.01 μmol/l) than the control group (8.78, 1.06 to 13.66 mol/l) (p < 0.05). A 28.1 per cent (n=9) of the diabetic patients had hyperhomocysteinemia, four case with mild and five case with moderate. Plasma tHcy levels were positively correlated with disease duration and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and negatively correlated with disease onset age. The hyperhomocysteinemic group had higher CRP levels, longer disease duration and early onset of disease than non-hyperhomocysteinemic group (p < 0.05 in both), respectively. The hyperhomocysteinemic group had significantly higher CRP, total cholesterol, triglyceride, apolipoprotein B, systolic blood pressure, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels and lower folate, apolipoprotein A1 levels and glomerular filtration rate values than the control group. Plasma tHcy levels were higher in diabetic children with poor metabolic control. Because of hyperhomocysteinemia is common in diabetic children and plasma tHcy levels correlated with early onset of the disease and disease duration, we recommend the usage of plasma tHcy levels as a risk indicator parameter with other coronary risk factor for detecting and preventing cardiovascular disease in diabetic children.

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