Plasma total homocysteine and carotid intima-media thickness in type 1 diabetes: A prospective study

Arpita Basu, Alicia J Jenkins, Julie A Stoner, Suzanne R Thorpe, Richard L Klein, Maria F Lopes-Virella, W Timothy Garvey, Timothy J Lyons, The DCCT/EDIC Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) has been positively associated with carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in non-diabetic populations and in a few cross-sectional studies of diabetic patients. We investigated cross-sectional and prospective associations of a single measure of tHcy with common and internal carotid IMT over a 6-year period in type 1 diabetes. Research design and methods: tHcy levels were measured once, in plasma obtained in 1997–1999 from patients (n = 599) in the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study, the observational follow-up of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT). Common and internal carotid IMT were determined twice, in EDIC “Year 6” (1998–2000) and “Year 12” (2004–2006), using B-mode ultra-sonography. Results: After adjustment, plasma tHcy [median (interquartile range): 6.2 (5.1, 7.5) μmol/L] was significantly correlated with age, diastolic blood pressure, renal dysfunction, and smoking (all p < 0.05). In an unadjusted model only, increasing quartiles of tHcy correlated with common and internal carotid IMT, again at both EDIC time-points (p < 0.01). However, multivariate logistic regression revealed no significant associations between increasing quartiles of tHcy and the 6-year change in common and internal carotid IMT (highest vs. lowest quintile) when adjusted for conventional risk factors. Conclusions: In a type 1 diabetes cohort from the EDIC study, plasma tHcy measured in samples drawn in 1997–1999 was associated with measures of common and internal carotid IMT measured both one and seven years later, but not with IMT progression between the two time-points. The data do not support routine measurement of tHcy in people with Type 1 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


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