- Clinical Investigation and Reports
Plasma Total Cysteine as a Risk Factor for Vascular DiseaseThe European Concerted Action Project Lina El-Khairy et al.
Background—Elevated plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Although cysteine is structurally similar and metabolically linked to tHcy, its relation to the risk of cardiovascular disease has received little attention. We studied the relation between plasma total cysteine (tCys) levels and the risk of vascular disease in the coronary, cerebral, and peripheral vessels.
Methods and Results—This case-control study included 750 patients with vascular disease and 800 age- and sex-matched control subjects recruited from 19 centers in 9 European countries. Conventional risk factors for cardiovascular disease were recorded. In addition, plasma levels of tCys, tHcy, folate, B6, B12, and creatinine were measured. Overall, a U-shaped relationship was observed between tCys and risk of vascular disease. With the middle range of 250 to 275 μmol/L tCys used as the reference category, the adjusted risk of vascular disease at low (≤225 μmol/L) tCys levels was 2.1 (95% CI 1.2 to 3.6), and the risk at high (>300 μmol/L) tCys levels was 1.6 (95% CI 1.1 to 2.3). Different shapes of the dose-response relationship were seen for the 3 vascular disease categories. The relation with peripheral vascular and cerebrovascular disease was U-shaped, whereas a weak positive relation was observed with coronary heart disease.
Conclusions—Our data show a significant U-shaped relationship between tCys and cardiovascular disease after adjustment for tHcy, creatinine, and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.Key Words: