Background. The effects of chronic diuretic use on serum homocysteine and its metabolic cofactors vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and red blood cell (RBC) folate have not been well studied. Methods. Blood samples from 17 hypertensive patients receiving long-term diuretic therapy and 17 hypertensive patients not taking diuretics were analyzed for serum homocysteine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and RBC folate. Results. The mean serum homocysteine concentration for patients taking diuretics (17.87 ± 1.72 μmol/L) was significantly higher than the mean serum homocysteine concentration for patients not taking diuretics (10.31 ± 0.99 μmol/L). The mean RBC folate concentration for patients taking diuretics (281.01 ± 17.56 ng/mL) was significantly lower than the mean RBC folate concentration for patients not taking diuretics (430.85 ± 28.58 ng/mL). Serum vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 concentrations were not significantly different between the two groups. Conclusions. Chronic diuretic use is associated with a significant increase in serum homocysteine concentration, a significant decrease in RBC folate concentration, and no significant change in concentrations of vitamins B6 and B12.
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