High plasma homocyst(e)ine (Hcy) concentrations may be a determinant of coronary artery disease (CAD). Folate and vitamin B-12 are required for the primary metabolic pathway to reduce Hcy concentrations. The interrelationships of Hcy and these two vitamin cofactors were investigated in a case-control study of 101 white males aged 30-50 y with angiographically demonstrated CAD, and 108 white male, similarly aged, control subjects living in the same community as the patients. The odds ratio (OR) of CAD per quartile increase of plasma Hcy concentration based on control values was 1.6 (95% CI: 1.3, 2.1). After age, HDL and LDL cholesterol, body mass index, smoking, hypertension, and diabetes were controlled for, Hcy remained an independent risk factor (OR: 1.4; 95% CI: 1.0, 2.0). The OR change per quartile increase of folate concentration was 0.8 (95% CI: 0.6, 1.0). This difference was reduced (OR: 0.9; 95% CI: 0.7, 1.2) after Hcy adjustment. No difference in the geometric mean of vitamin B-12 concentration was found between patients and control subjects, both 5.8 nmol/L. However, after Hcy and the other CAD risk factors were controlled for, the OR per quartile increase in vitamin B-12 concentration was 1.5 (95% CI: 1.0, 1.8). Reduction in plasma Hcy by interventions to increase plasma folate concentration may decrease CAD risk.