Background: Evidence linking homocysteine (Hcy) with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) or its risk factors are insufficient in a Sub-Saharan black population. Objective: We set out to evaluate the association between Hcy and hypertension and other CVD risk factors in a population of adult Nigerians.
Methods: Data of 156 adults aged 18-70years was accessed from the North Central study site of the REmoving the MAsk on Hypertension (REMAH) study. Homocysteine, blood glucose and lipid profile in whole blood/serum were measured using standard laboratory methods. Hypertension was diagnosed if average of 5 consecutive blood pressure (BP) measurements obtained using a mercury sphygmomanometer was equal to or higher than 140 systolic and/or 90 mmHg diastolic or the individual is on antihypertensive medication. Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) was defined as Hcy>10µmol/L.
Results: Of the 156 participants, 72 (43.5%) were hypertensive, of whom 18 had HHcy. Subjects with HHcy were significantly (p<0.05) older (41.5 vs 40.6yrs), had lower HDL-cholesterol (0.6 vs 0.8mmol/L) and higher systolic (145.5 vs 126.0mmHg) and diastolic BP (92.9 vs 79.6mmHg), compared to those without HHcy. Intake of alcohol and a 1yr increase in age were respectively and significantly (p<0.05) associated with a 1.54 and 0.10 µmol/L increase in Hcy. In a multivariable model adjusted for age, sex and body mass index, a 1µmol/L increase in Hcy, was associated with a 1.69 mmHg and 1.34 mmHg increase in systolic and diastolic pressure (p< 0.0001) respectively; and a 0.01mmol/L decrease in HDL-cholesterol (p<0.05).
Conclusion: HHcy occurs among hypertensive Nigerians and it is independently associated with age, HDL-cholesterol, systolic and diastolic BP.