Homocysteine and the risk of nursing home admission and mortality in older persons

C.M.A. Swart, N.M. van Schoor, H.J. Blom, Y.M. Smulders, P.T.A.M. Lips

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    Background/Objectives: This study aimed to investigate whether higher homocysteine and lower vitamin B12 concentrations increase the risk of future nursing home (NH) admission and all-cause mortality in independently living older persons. Subjects/Methods: In total, 1117 independently living participants (mean age=75.1, s.d.=6.4) were included in this prospective sub-study of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. EDTA plasma samples, collected in 1995-1996, were analysed for total homocysteine (μmol/l). Time to NH admission was assessed using a follow-up until 2002-2003. In addition, we studied mortality until 1 June 2007. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association between homocysteine in quartiles and risk of NH admission and mortality. Results: During follow-up, 126 persons (11.3%) were admitted to NHs, and 513 persons (45.9%) deceased. In men, no significant associations were observed. In women, after adjustment for confounding, the highest quartile of homocysteine was associated with a significantly higher risk of NH admission compared with the first quartile (hazard ratio (HR)=2.97, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.36-6.49). Both women in the third and the fourth quartile of homocysteine had a significantly higher mortality risk (HR=1.70, 95% CI=1.08-2.65 and HR=1.91, 95% CI=1.22-3.00, respectively) compared with the first quartile. Vitamin B12 was not related to an increased risk of NH admission and mortality. Conclusions: Elevated plasma homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of NH admission and mortality in older women, but not in older men. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)188-195
    JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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