Plasma homocysteine and macular thickness in older adults-the Rugao Longevity and Aging Study.

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To determine the association of plasma homocysteine levels with retinal layer thickness in a large community cohort of older adults.The Rugao Longevity and Ageing Study is an observational, prospective and community-based cohort study. A total of 989 older adults who underwent spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) were included and analyzed. Foveal, macular retinal nerve fibre layer (mRNFL) and ganglion cell layer plus inner plexiform layer (GC-IPL) thicknesses were measured by SD-OCT. Plasma homocysteine levels were measured using chemiluminescence immunoassay. Linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the relationship between plasma homocysteine and retinal layer thickness while controlling for confounding factors.Of the 989 participants, 500 (50.56%) were men. The mean age was 78.26 (4.58) years, and the mean plasma homocysteine level was 16.38 (8.05) μmol/L. In multivariable analyses, each unit increase in plasma homocysteine was associated with an 8.84 × 10-2 (95% CI: -16.54 × 10-2 to -1.15 × 10-2, p = 0.032) μm decrease in the average inner thickness of the GC-IPL after controlling for confounding factors. The association remained significant even in participants without major cardiovascular disease or diabetes (β = -10.33 × 10-2, 95% CI: -18.49 × 10-2 to -2.18 × 10-2, p = 0.013). No significant associations of plasma homocysteine levels with macular thickness or mRNFL were found in primary and sensitivity analyses (p > 0.05).Increased plasma homocysteine levels are associated with a thinner GC-IPL. Plasma homocysteine may be a risk factor for thinner retinas in older adults.

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Authors: Hui Zhang, Hangqi Shen, Wei Gong, Xuehui Sun, Xiaoyan Jiang, Jiucun Wang, Li Jin, Xun Xu, Dawei Luo, Xiaofeng Wang