Combined effect of folate and adiposity on homocysteine in children at three years of age

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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Cardiovascular diseases is a major cause of death and is responsible for 23.8% of deaths in Korea. Clinical symptoms manifest in adulthood, but susceptibility begins in utero. Elevated homocysteine levels and adiposity might be linked to a greater risk in children as well as adults. We hypothesized that those who have simultaneous risk for folate and adiposity would be affected with elevated homocysteine levels at 3 years of age. SUBJECTS/METHODS: From the ongoing birth cohort at Ewha Womans University Mok-Dong Hospital, we compared adiposity parameters, serum homocysteine, and folate levels in 238 children (118 boys and 120 girls) at three years of age. The relationship between birth outcome, current weight and body mass index (BMI), postnatal growth, and homocysteine level were assessed using correlation and general linear model. Additionally, we assessed the combined effect between blood folate status and adiposity on current homocysteine levels. RESULTS: Birth characteristics were not correlated with homocysteine. Current weight, BMI, upper-arm circumference, skinfold thickness, waist circumference, and hip circumference were positively correlated with homocysteine at three years of age (P < 0.05). Folate level was negatively correlated with homocysteine at three years of age (P < 0.0001). A relative high anthropometric measure which is compatible with adiposity and low folate level was associated with high homocysteine levels. CONCLUSION: We found a combined effect of adiposity and folate levels with homocysteine levels at three years of age. This implicates the beneficial role of folate supplementation in the high-risk population at an early age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition Research and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Korean Nutrition Society and the Korean Society of Community Nutrition.


  • Adiposity
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Children
  • Folate
  • Homocysteine


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