Lack of association between plasma homocysteine levels and microangiopathy in type 1 diabetes mellitus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The reactive vascular-injuring amino acid homocysteine was previously shown to be increased in plasma in diabetic patients with clinical signs of nephropathy. In this study, plasma homocysteine was measured in type 1 diabetic patients with normoalbuminuria (n = 22), microalbuminuria (n = 40) and proteinuria (n = 14) in order to investigate whether plasma homocysteine levels are increased already at the stage of incipient nephropathy, i.e. microalbuminuria. Furthermore, patients were characterized according to the degree of retinopathy. Plasma homocysteine in the whole population (n = 76) was related to B-Folate (r = 0.38, p < 0.01), S-Creatinine (r = 0.55, p < 0.001), S-Urea (r = 0.37, p < 0.01), U-Albumin (r = 0.46, p < 0.001), urinary N-acetyl-beta- glucosaminidase (r = 0.40, p < 0.001), systolic blood pressure (r = 0.36, p < 0.01) and diabetes duration (r = 0.44, p < 0.001). There were no differences in plasma homocysteine levels between patients with normoalbuminuria (8.0 +/- 1.7 mumol l-1; mean +/- SD) and those with microalbuminuria (9.1 +/- 3.4 mumol l-1). However, patients with clinical signs of nephropathy had higher plasma homocysteine levels (12.9 +/- 5.7 mumol l-1, p < 0.01) compared to the other two groups. There was no association between plasma homocysteine levels and different degrees of retinopathy. Thus, the present study does not show any relation between plasma homocysteine levels and early stages of diabetic nephropathy or retinopathy indicating that elevated concentrations of plasma homocysteine does not explain the increased risk for atherosclerosis observed in patients with microalbuminuria.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • nephropathy, retinopathy, homocysteine, diabetes mellitus
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-641
JournalScandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology (013250300), Unit on Vascular Diabetic Complications (013241510)