Homocysteine concentrations lowered following dietary intervention in an Aboriginal community Academic Article uri icon


  • Low circulating folate concentrations lead to elevations of plasma homocysteine. Even mild elevations of plasma homocysteine are associated with significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Available evidence suggests that poor nutrition contributes to excessive premature CVD mortality in Australian Aboriginal people. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a nutrition intervention program conducted in an Aboriginal community on plasma homocysteine concentrations in a community-based cohort. From 1989, a health and nutrition project was developed, implemented and evaluated with the people of a remote Aboriginal community. Plasma homocysteine concentrations were measured in a community-based cohort of 14 men and 21 women screened at baseline, 6 months and 12 months. From baseline to 6 months there was a fall in mean plasma homocysteine of over 2|mol/L (P = 0.006) but no further change thereafter (P = 0.433). These changes were associated with a significant increase in red cell folate concentration from baseline to 6 months (P < 0.001) and a further increase from 6 to 12 months (P < 0.001). In multiple regression analysis, change in homocysteine concentration from baseline to 6 months was predicted by change in red cell folate (P = 0.002) and baseline homocysteine (P < 0.001) concentrations, but not by age, gender or baseline red cell folate concentration. We conclude that modest improvements in dietary quality among populations with poor nutrition (and limited disposable income) can lead to reductions in CVD risk.


publication date

  • May 19, 2003