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1 in 4 coronary risk profile samples show abnormal homocysteine levels: SRL Diagnostics study

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Abnormal serum homocysteine level found to be higher in men (31 per cent) than in women (16 per cent)

A recent study of 5757 samples, over the last three years, across 400 centers in India, conducted by SRL Diagnostics, shows that 1 in 4 samples tested for homocysteine as part of the coronary risk profile returned abnormal.

The report was based on a data analysis of results of randomised samples received for coronary risk profile over the last three years, from April 2018-August 2021 at SRL Laboratories across the country. The report was prepared on the basis of a retrospective data mining of test results for serum homocysteine, triglycerides, HDL, LDL and total cholesterol.

The study revealed that out of the 5757 samples received for testing for coronary risk profile, 26 per cent of the samples had abnormal levels of homocysteine.

Abnormal serum homocysteine level was found to be higher in men (31 per cent) than in women (16 per cent).

Abnormal serum homocysteine level was found to be highest in age group 16 to 30 years (31 per cent) followed by 31 to 45 years (29 per cent) and more than 46 years (~23 per cent) while abnormal serum homocysteine was found to be highest in South Zone (33 per cent) followed by West Zone (28 per cent).

Commenting on the results of the data analytics report on coronary risk profile, Dr Kshama Pimalgaonkar, Head of Department, Biochemistry, SRL Diagnostics, Mumbai said, “Hyperlipidemia and abnormal homocysteine levels puts one at a higher risk of developing coronary disease. People at high risk are advised preventive actions, lifestyle changes and regular monitoring of their vital parameters. In our data analysis, we have also seen cholesterol testing plummet during the lockdown and during the first and second wave of the pandemic.”

Explaining the link between homocysteine and coronary risk, the release states that while most health-conscious people know the importance of getting their lipid levels checked, most individuals are not aware of the significance of investigating their homocysteine level. Elevated levels of homocysteine have been linked with a diverse spectrum of health disorders ranging from cardiovascular disease and stroke to migraine, macular degeneration, and cognitive decline.

Additionally, research suggests that changes in homocysteine levels correlate with changes in mood. The European Concerted Action Project ‘Homocysteine and Vascular Disease’ showed that an elevated homocysteine is associated with a substantially increased risk of CVD, and particularly when combined with other factors such as smoking, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia.

India has one of the highest burdens of cardiovascular disease (CVD) worldwide. The annual number of deaths from CVD in India has risen from 2.26 million (1990) to 4.77 million (2020), as per The Lancet’s Global Disease Burden Report.  Coronary heart disease prevalence rates in India have been estimated over the past several decades and have ranged from 1.6 per cent to 7.4 per cent in rural populations and from 1 per cent to 13.2 per cent in urban populations, as per a study, Epidemiology and causation of coronary heart disease and stroke in India published in the journal Heart.

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