How is it used?
The homocysteine test may be used a few different ways:
- Your health practitioner may order a homocysteine test to determine if a person has a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency. The homocysteine concentration may be elevated before B12 and folate tests are abnormal. Some health practitioners may recommend homocysteine testing in malnourished individuals, the elderly, who often absorb less vitamin B12 from their diet, and individuals with poor nutrition, such as drug or alcohol addicts.
- It may be ordered when genetic mutations are identified such as MTHFR, MTR, MTRR and CBS mutations. These can often lead to elevated homocysteine levels.
- Homocysteine may be ordered as part of a screen for people at high risk for heart attack or stroke. It may be useful in someone who has a family history of coronary artery disease but no other known risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, or obesity.