Background and Purpose: This study aimed to explore the possible association of plasma total homocysteine with carotid plaque stability. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from 2010 to 2011. A stratified random sample of 2,919 Chinese participants aged 40 years or older was enrolled. Plasma total homocysteine levels were measured and carotid plaques were evaluated by ultrasonography. Logistic regression model was used to analyze the association of homocysteine levels to the progression of carotid plaque development, while adjusting for demographics and vascular risk factors. Results: The mean level of plasma homocysteine in the subjects was 14.9 mmol/l. Along with increase in homocysteine level, the risk of advanced carotid plaque elevated (odds ratio = 1.28; 95% confidence interval = 1.09-1.51) after adjusting for age, sex, and other potential confounders. Stratified by sex, higher homocysteine level was strongly associated with advanced carotid plaque in men (OR = 1.41; 95% confidence interval = 1.17-1.70), but not in women. Conclusion: The findings suggest that plasma level of homocysteine may be associated with advanced carotid plaque, which constitutes high risks of stroke, in male Chinese adults.
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