Plasma Homocysteine, Hypertension Incidence, and Blood Pressure Tracking: The Framingham Heart Study

Johan Sundström, Lisa Sullivan, Ralph B. D'Agostino, Paul F. Jacques, Jacob Selhub, Irwin H. Rosenberg, Peter W.F. Wilson, Daniel Levy, Ramachandran S. Vasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Plasma homocysteine is cross-sectionally associated with blood pressure in large, community-based studies. It is unknown whether elevated plasma homocysteine predicts hypertension incidence. We investigated the relations of baseline plasma total homocysteine levels to hypertension incidence and blood pressure tracking in 2104 Framingham Heart Study participants (mean age, 57 years; 58% women), who were free of hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, or renal failure at baseline. Baseline mean±SD plasma homocysteine was 10.1±3.7 μmol/L. On follow-up 4 years from baseline, 360 persons (17.1%) had developed hypertension, and 878 persons (41.7%) had progressed to a higher blood pressure stage. In unadjusted analyses, a 1-SD higher log homocysteine value was associated with increased odds of developing hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 1.32) and increased odds of blood pressure progression (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.27). The relations of plasma homocysteine to the incidence of hypertension or blood pressure progression were statistically nonsignificant in age- and sex-adjusted logistic regression models (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1. 11 and OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.16, respectively) and in multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, diabetes, interim weight change, smoking, serum creatinine, baseline blood pressure, and blood pressure category (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.06 and OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.97 to 1.18, respectively). In conclusion, we found no major relation of baseline plasma homocysteine levels to hypertension incidence or longitudinal blood pressure progression in a large, community-based cohort of nonhypertensive individuals after adjustment for age, sex, and other important covariates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1100-1105
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Epidemiology
  • Homocysteine
  • Hypertension, detection and control
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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