, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 578-584
Date: 19 Apr 2013

Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with low muscle strength and functional limitations in older persons

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The current study aimed to examine homocysteine in relation to different aspects of physical functioning.

Design, setting and participants

Cross-sectional and longitudinal data (3-years follow-up) from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) were used. The study was performed in persons aged ≥ 65 years (N= 1301 after imputation).


Different measures of physical functioning, including muscle mass, grip strength, functional limitations, and falling were regarded as outcomes. Gender and serum creatinine level were investigated as effect modifiers.


Results were stratified by gender. In men, higher homocysteine levels were associated with lower grip strength (Quartile 4: regression coefficient (B)= −3.07 (−4.91; −1.22)), and more functional limitations at baseline (Quartile 4: B= 1.15 (0.16–2.14)). In women, higher homocysteine levels were associated with more functional limitations after 3 years (Quartile 4: B= 1.19 (0.25; 2.13)). Higher homocysteine levels were not associated with low muscle mass or falling.


These data suggest an inverse association of homocysteine levels with functional limitations in older men and women, and with muscle strength in older men.