Differences in the frequency of the C677T mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene among the Lebanese population.
In view of its role in precipitating mild hyperhomocysteinemia as well as being a risk factor for vascular thrombosis, we investigated the frequency of the C677T mutation of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene among 589 healthy Lebanese subjects by PCR-RFLP analysis (HinfI digestion) and compared them with those of other countries of Caucasian and non-Caucasian origin. The prevalence of the mutated homozygous (T/T) and heterozygous (C/T) C677T MTHFR genotype was 11.04% and 39.73%, respectively, giving an allele frequency of 0.309. While the prevalence of the T/T genotype was similar with respect to gender, higher prevalence was noted among Christian (13.08%) compared to Moslem (7.66%) subjects (P < 0.001), and heterogeneity in its distribution was seen in the different Lebanese provinces, and was directly related to the Christian/Moslem composition of each province. The distribution of the MTHFR C677T in Lebanon is unique with regard to its higher occurrence among Christians compared to Moslems, adding to the existing body of literature on the heterogeneity of its prevalence and distribution.