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BACKGROUND: High levels of plasma homocysteine constitute a risk for cardiovascular disease. Physical activity, known to reduce CVD risk, has been related to levels of Hcy. Recently, higher Hcy was shown to be associated with lower cardiovascular fitness in women but not in men. OBJECTIVES: To further explore the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and plasma total homocysteine levels in a large cohort of adult males and females. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 2576 fitness and Hcy examinations in adults (62% males) aged 30-59 years randomly drawn from a population undergoing a periodic health examination in the Sheba Medical Center's Executive Screening Survey. Blood tests were collected for tHcy and a sub-maximal exercise test was performed to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness. Information on CVD/CVD risk factors (coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular accident, diabetes, hypertension or dyslipidemia) was self-reported. RESULTS: Mean tHcy plasma levels were 14.4 +/- 7.7 and 10.2 +/- 3.0 micromol/ml, and mean maximal oxygen uptake 36.5 +/- 11.7 and 292 +/- 9.5 ml/kg/min for males and females, respectively. A multiple regression analysis, adjusting for age, body mass index and CVD/CVD risk factors, showed no association between cardiorespiratory fitness and level of tHcy in males (P = 0.09) or in females (P = 0.62). CONCLUSIONS: In this sample no association was found between level of cardiorespiratory fitness and plasma tHcy in men or women. The inconsistency of findings and the small number of studies warrant further research of the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and tHcy, an association that may have clinical implications for the modifications of cardiovascular risk factors.


Journal article


Isr Med Assoc J

Publication Date





78 - 82


Adult, Body Mass Index, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Exercise Test, Exercise Tolerance, Female, Health Surveys, Homocysteine, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Oxygen Consumption, Physical Fitness, Predictive Value of Tests, Risk Factors