Dietary Pattern Is Associated with Homocysteine and B Vitamin Status in an Urban Chinese Population

Xiang Gao, Manjiang Yao, Megan A. McCrory, Guansheng Ma, Yanping Li, Susan B. Roberts, Katherine L. Tucker

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To identify existing dietary patterns and examine associations between these patterns and plasma homocysteine and B vitamin concentrations in an urban Chinese population living in Beijing (n = 119), dietary information was collected with a food frequency questionnaire designed for this population. Plasma homocysteine and B vitamin concentrations were examined. Food group variables, expressed as percentages of total energy intake, were entered into cluster analysis to define three distinct dietary pattern groups. The prevalence of high homocysteine (> 11 μmol/L for women and 12 μmol/L for men), was 31.9%; of low folate (<6.8 nmol/L), 36.2%; of low vitamin B-12 (<221 pmol/L), 36.9%; and of low vitamin B-6 (<30 nmol/L), 16.0%. The three dietary patterns derived were defined by relatively greater intake of 1) fruit and milk, 2) red meat and 3) refined cereals. More than 40% of subjects in the refined cereals group had high plasma homocysteine and low plasma folate concentrations, and 67% had low plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations. Those following the refined cereals pattern were 4 and 5.2 times more likely to have high homocysteine and low vitamin B-12 concentrations, respectively, relative to the fruit and milk dietary pattern group (P < 0.01), after adjustment for potential confounders. High intake of refined cereals was associated with low B vitamin and high homocysteine concentrations, whereas the pattern high in fruit and milk was associated with the lowest homocysteine. Dietary patterns appear to play an important role in the micronutrient and homocysteine status of these Chinese adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3636-3642
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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