Differences in Mexican American and non-Hispanic white veterans' homocysteine levels

Carol M. Baldwin, Iris R. Bell, Anna Giuliano, Mary Z. Mays, Pete Arambula, Andrei Alexandrov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare homocysteine (Hcy) levels and possible modulatory factors, such as nutrient or supplement intake, between Mexican American and Non-Hispanic White (NHW) male military veterans scoring at high- versus low-risk for stroke. Design: A cross-sectional survey with a high and low stroke risk biomarkers substudy. Methods: Voluntary participants were Mexican American (n=109) and NHW (n=120) veteran outpatients 54 to 85 years of age at a Southwestern Veterans Administration (VA) medical center. Measures included food frequency, health history, and stroke risk scale derived from the Framingham Study. Biomarker subgroups, 30 Mexican American and 30 NHW, half of each group scoring high or low on stroke risk, who were tested for morning fasting blood levels of Hcy, B12, and folate. Findings: In the cross-sectional study (n=229), nutrient intake was comparable between ethnic groups. In the substudy, Mexican Americans (n=30) with high or low stroke risk scores and NHW (n=30) with high stroke risk scores had elevated Hcy levels (12.5; 11.9; 11.4 μmol/L respectively) compared to NHW veterans with low stroke risk scores (7.8 μmol/L) even after controlling for age, education, folate, diabetes, and smoking pack-years (p=.001). Mexican Americans compared to NHW were significantly more likely to be in the preclinical (17% versus 3% >10 μmol/L) and clinical ranges (69% versus 35% >15 μmol/L) for Hcy. Conclusions: Mexican Americans showed higher levels of Hcy whether they scored high or low for stroke, and greater representation in clinical and preclinical Hcy ranges compared to NHW veterans. The Framingham-derived, predominantly NHW population-based stroke risk measure might require ethnically relevant stroke risk factors for Mexican Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Arizona Food Frequency Questionnaire
  • Framingham Stroke Risk
  • Homocysteine
  • Mexican American
  • Non-Hispanic White
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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