Noreen Sultan, Mudassir Ahmad Khan, Salman Malik


BACKGROUND: Hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic
diseases including Ischaemic heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Homocysteine
(Hcy) is an intermediate formed during the catabolism of essential sulphur containing amino acid
methionine, increased Hcy is associated with endothelial dysfunctions in healthy human. Plasma
Hcy is significantly lower in premenopausal women than young men but after menopause basal
homocysteinemia increases significantly in women approaching those in men. Several studies
showed that hyperhomocysteinemia to be stronger risk factor for CHD (Coronary Heart Disease)
in women than men. It seems likely that altered hormonal status and age related low folate intake
are responsible for this. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of folic acid
supplements for six months, on Hcy level in postmenopausal women. Methods: Hcy was
estimated by Flourescence Polarization Immunoassay (FPIA). Results: There was a significant
(p<0.001) decrease in Hcy level after six months of folic acid supplements. Conclusion: Hcy is an
independent risk factor for atherosclerotic disease, this study favours the view that after
menopause Hcy level increases significantly and a simple non Toxic and relatively inexpensive
vitamin (folic acid) intervention might be useful in primary cardiovascular prevention in this high
risk group because Hcy is a stronger risk factor for CHD in postmenopausal women than men.
Keywords: Menopause, Homocysteine, Folic acid.

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