A pilot study of homocysteine levels in essential hypertension: relationship to von Willebrand factor, an index of endothelial cell damage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Eiry Edmunds
  • S Martin
  • Alan Jones
  • Andrew Blann


An interaction between homocyst(e)ine and the endothelium in hypertensive patients may promote thrombogenesis and atherogenesis, leading to adverse cardiovascular events. We hypothesized that homocyst(e)ine levels are abnormal in patients with essential hypertension, and that this may be related to an adverse effect on the vascular endothelium. Accordingly, we compared plasma levels of homocyst(e)ine and von Willebrand factor (marking endothelial damage) in 83 patients (43 men; mean age 54 +/- standard deviation 15.9 years) with essential hypertension (> 160/90 mm Hg), with levels in 25 healthy normotensive controls (13 men; mean age 56+/-11.8 years). Baseline levels of the markers and other clinical indices were then related to adverse cardiovascular events at follow-up. Plasma homocyst(e)ine (P = .0001) and von Willebrand factor (P = .031) levels were significantly higher in hypertensives compared to controls. After a mean follow-up of 76 patients for 45 months (range, 1 to 66 months), 17 subjects experienced an end point of either cardiovascular death (n = 10) or adverse cardiovascular event (n = 7). Comparing these 17 with the 59 free of an end point, the former were older (P = .0002) and had a longer duration of known hypertension (P = .018). There was a nonsignificant trend toward higher median plasma homocyst(e)ine levels in the patients sustaining a vascular end point (P = .07). In this pilot study, we suggest that essential hypertension may be associated with increased plasma homocyst(e)ine levels, but that this amino acid is unrelated to endothelial damage (von Willebrand factor), clinical indices, or prognosis.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-631
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2001


  • von Willebrand factor, homocyst(e)ine, prognosis