Relationship between plasma homocysteine and blood pressure in hypertensive Northern-Nigerians
Aim: The study sought to determine whether there is any relationship between plasma homocysteine and blood pressure levels in Nigerians with essential hypertension.
Method: It was a cross-sectional analytical study done on 120 randomly selected hypertensive patients and 120 normal healthy controls seen at the large Conference hall of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Medical Centre, Zaria as well as the ABU Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Northern-Nigeria. Pearson’s Correlation and Binary Logistic Regression analysis determined the rela- tionship between homocysteine and hypertension.
Results: Hyperhomocysteinaemia found in the hypertensive patients (22.8 ± 6.6 µmol/L) differed significantly (p<0.001) from controls (10.9 ± 2.8 µmol/L) with significant (p<0.001), blood pressure difference between both groups. Homocysteine signifi- cantly positively correlated with systolic (r = 0.51, p<0.001) and diastolic (r = 0.47, p<0.001) blood pressures in hypertensive subjects. The relation of plasma hcy to hypertension was statistically significant for SBP; OR: 1.08 (95% CI, 1.05-1.11) and DBP; OR: 1.08 (95% CI, 1.03-1.13) in the unadjusted model. When adjusted for confounding variables, hcy was significantly related to SBP; OR: 1.1 (95% CI, 1.04-1.18) but not DBP (p=0.25; OR: 1.06 (95 % CI, 0.96-1.18). The mean plasma folate level was high (115.2 ± 48.0 ng/mL) in the hypertensive subjects. The hyperhomocysteinaemic subjects showed a 2.8 times Odds of developing hypertension.
Conclusion: This study showed higher mean plasma homocysteine levels in hypertensives than controls not accounted for by sub-optimal folate levels. Hyperhomocysteinaemia showed a positive relationship to systolic hypertension after adjusting for confounders.
Keywords: Plasma homocysteine; hypertension; healthy controls; folic acid; blood pressure; Northern-Nigerians.
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