Polygenic association with total homocysteine in the post-folic acid fortification era: The CARDIA study

Michael Y. Tsai, Catherine M. Loria, Jing Cao, Yongin Kim, David S. Siscovick, Pamela J. Schreiner, Naomi Q. Hanson

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16 Scopus citations


Elevated plasma concentration of total homocysteine (tHcy) has been linked with many diseases. tHcy is associated with a variety of factors, including polymorphisms in genes involved in homocysteine metabolism. It is not clear whether US-mandated fortification of grain products with folic acid has affected the association of genetic variants with tHcy levels. We determined tHcy concentrations in sera from 997 Caucasians and 692 African Americans participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study before and after folic acid fortification. DNA was genotyped for variants present in four genes involved in homocysteine metabolism: cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) 844ins68, methionine synthase (MS) 2756A>G; methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) 66A>G and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C>T and 1298A>C. A greater number of African Americans were homozygous for the MS 2756GG, MTRR 66GG and CBS 844ins68 genotypes compared to Caucasians, while prevalence of MTHFR 677TT and 1298CC genotypes was substantially lower in African Americans compared to Caucasians. The overall variance in tHcy levels at y 0, 7 and 15 that can be explained by the combined presence of all five variants increased slightly over time in Caucasians (17%, y 0; 21%, y 7; and 26%, y 15) and in African Americans (13%, y 0; 17% y 7; and 18% y 15) largely due to decrease in tHcy variance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
CARDIA is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (N01-HC-95095, N01-HC-48047-48050, and N01-HC-05187).


  • Cystathionine β-synthase
  • Folic acid
  • Homocysteine
  • Methionine synthase
  • Methionine synthase reductase
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase


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