BACKGROUND: Hyperhomocysteinemia has been proposed as an important risk factor for ischemic stroke worldwide, but data available from the Indian subcontinent is scarce. AIM: To study homocysteine levels in patients with ischemic stroke and compare it with age- and sex-matched controls. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: Case-control prospective study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-seven patients with ischemic stroke and 30 controls were recruited for the study. They were subdivided into two subgroups 40 years and> 40 years of age) and plasma fasting total homocysteine (tHcy) levels were measured. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: Student's 't' test and chi-square test. RESULTS: The tHcy were significantly high in patients with stroke, compared to controls (9.91 2.25 vs 8.00 2.74 micromol/l; P vs 8.45 2.72 micromol/l; P = 0.01) and female patients compared to controls (9.08 1.81 vs 6.79 2.60 micromol/l; P = 0.04). The tHcy levels were significantly high in patients with hypertension compared to normotensive patients (10.96 vs 9.49 micromol/l; P = 0.01) and smokers compared to nonsmokers (11.17 vs 9.33 micromol/l; P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Hyperhomo-cysteinemia emerged as an important independent risk factor for ischemic stroke. A strong positive correlation was also observed between hypertension, smoking, and high-tHcy levels in the present study.
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