There is uncertainty about the importance of plasma levels of homocysteine, vitamin B-12, and folate for all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in older people. We examined the associations between plasma levels of folate, vitamin B-12, and homocysteine, and all-cause and CVD mortality among community-dwelling adults aged > or = 75 y living in the United Kingdom. In a population-based prospective cohort study, 853 men and women aged > or = 75 y were examined in 1995-98 as part of the Medical Research Council Trial of Assessment and Management of Older People in the Community. During a median follow-up of 7.6 y (5528 person-years of follow-up), 429 individuals (50.3%) died, including 185 from CVD. Individuals with plasma homocysteine levels in the top one-third compared with the bottom one-third had a 2-fold higher risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.76, 2.75; P < 0.001) and CVD mortality (hazard ratio, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.39, 2.78; P < 0.001) after adjustment for age, sex, and other covariates. There was no association of plasma folate or vitamin B-12 levels with mortality. Our results extend previously reported associations of homocysteine with mortality, and the absence of associations of folate and vitamin B-12 with mortality, to the older population.

Original publication




Journal article


J Nutr

Publication Date





1121 - 1128


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biomarkers, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cohort Studies, Female, Folic Acid, Homocysteine, Humans, Male, Risk Factors, United Kingdom, Vitamin B 12