The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 578–584 | Cite as

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

  • K. M. A. SwartEmail author
  • N. M. Van Schoor
  • M. W. Heymans
  • L. A. Schaap
  • M. Den Heijer
  • P. Lips



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.

Key words

Homocysteine physical functioning muscle aging 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. A. Swart
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • N. M. Van Schoor
    • 1
  • M. W. Heymans
    • 1
  • L. A. Schaap
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Den Heijer
    • 3
  • P. Lips
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO Institute for Health and Care ResearchVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, EMGO Institute for Health and Care ResearchVU UniversityAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamthe Netherlands

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