High homocysteine levels in blood more common in western part of India

High homocysteine levels in blood more common in western part of India
Highlights

On the occasion of World Heart Day SRL Diagnostics, the leading diagnostic chain in India, has released a three-year (2013-15) data mining survey done on Homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid.

On the occasion of World Heart Day SRL Diagnostics, the leading diagnostic chain in India, has released a three-year (2013-15) data mining survey done on Homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid. According to this report, approximately 50, 000 samples were tested for blood homocysteine, which revealed that more men had higher than normal homocysteine levels. This is considered to be a major factor involved in cardiovascular disease.

The increase in the levels of this amino acid or ‘Hyperhomocysteinemia’ leads to damage of the vascular inner lining, reduction in flexibility of arteries and alters the process of how blood clots. This phenomenon is more common among men.

While mapping the 4 zones, it was found that the West zone showed maximum cases of abnormal levels of homocysteine in both males and females. On the other hand, the least cases for abnormal levels of homocysteine in both males and females were found in North India. Given the increase in abnormal level, awareness about homocysteine is very important.

While analyzing the data, higher levels of Homocysteine were seen in men in the age group of 31-45. In women, high homocysteine levels were more commonly seen at 46 years of age and above. It has been observed in various clinical studies that with each 5 mol/L increase in homocysteine level the risk of CHD events is amplified by approximately 20%, independently of traditional CHD risk factors like cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.

Dr. Leena Chatterjee, Director SRL Labs and Strategic Initiatives said “There is a significant need for reaching out to the masses and making people aware of how important it is to test for Homocysteine as well, especially in a setting where folate, Vit B6 and B12 deficiencies are common.

Hyperhomocysteinemia accentuates the adverse effects of risk factors like hypertension, smoking, lipid disorders, and also promotes development of inflammation.” She further advised “Abnormal levels of homocysteine has also been linked to other problems, including osteoporosis, birth defects, macular degeneration and certain types of cancer.

The good news is that elevated homocysteine levels can be decreased by consuming adequate amounts of the vitamins folate, B12 and B6.” In women, the problem of hyper homocysteinemia was relatively less common. Pan India 73 per cent of women had homocysteine levels in the range of 0 – 15 mol/L. The normal level for both the genders is between 4 and 15 micromoles/liter (mol/L).

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