While mapping the all 4 zones in the country, it was found that the west showed maximum cases of abnormal levels of homocysteine in both males and females, according to SRL Diagnostics study here.
The least cases for abnormal levels of homocysteine in both males and females were found in north India.
To mark the World Heart Day, SRL Diagnostics has released a three-year (2013-15) data mining survey done on homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid.
According to it, approximately 50,000 samples were tested for blood homocysteine, which revealed that more men had higher than normal homocysteine levels.
The increase in the levels of this amino acid or 'Hyperhomocysteinemia' leads to damage of the vascular inner lining, reduction in flexibility of arteries and alters the process of how blood clots. This phenomenon is more common among men.
Higher levels of Homocysteine were seen in men in the age group of 31-45. In women, high homocysteine levels were more commonly seen at 46 years of age and above. It was observed in various clinical studies that with each 5 mol/L increase in homocysteine level the risk of CHD events is amplified by approximately 20 per cent, independently of traditional CHD risk factors like cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.
In women, the problem of hyper homocysteinemia was relatively less common. Pan India 73 per cent of women had homocysteine levels in the range of 0 - 15 mol/L. The normal level for both the genders is between 4 and 15 micromoles/liter (mol/L).AP NRB MKJ.
High homocysteine lever are a result of a familial or genetic problem. People who have height homocysteine levels usually lack high levels of vitamin B, B12 and folic acid. “Even Low levels of thyroid hormones, kidney disease or some other condition that rungs in the family can trigger high homocysteine levels, “says Malhotra.
Anyone who is genetically predisposed for high homocysteine levels, suffers from these vitamin deficiencies, renal disease or has high cholesterol level should go for a homocysteine test – “at lease once every six month.” Advises Malhotra. The test is easily available at almost all hospitals and laboratories and requires overnight fasting, It can cost about Rs 900.
It has been observed in various clinical studies that with each 5 Umol/L increase in the homocysteine level, the risk of coronary heart disease is amplified by about 20 percent, states the SRL Diagostics report. This is independent or the traditional coronary heart disease risk factory factors such as cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.
Malhotra says that because it is genetic, the problem cannot be prevented. However, it can be controlled to some extent by consuming supplements of the lacking vitamins in the body.
“Eat more fruits and leafy, green vegetable. Avoid red meat and high consumption of alcohol,” he says. Consume breakfast cereals, fortified grains products, lentils, asparagus, spinach and most beans that are good sources of folate (folic acid). Non-vegetarians should stick to fish, organic meat or white meat, he advises.
Verma adds that several dietary and lifestyle changes can help reduce homocysteine lifestyle levels. “Avoid Methionine-rich like red meat and dairy products. (Methionine is another amino acid). Regular aerobic exercise is very effective. And disease or eliminate alcohol and smoking.” Vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid in the prescribed does are the treatment of choice for high homocysteine levels.