Life Extension Update
Reduced vitamin C intake among heart failure patients associated with increased mortality over one year
Tuesday, November 15, 2011. At the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011, held November 12-16 in Orlando, Florida, it was reported that heart failure patients have a greater risk of inflammation and death over follow-up when consuming a diet that provides an inadequate amount of vitamin C.
Eun Kyeung Song, PhD, RN of the University of Ulsan in Korea and associates measured high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP, which increases with inflammation and is a risk factor for heart disease) in 212 men and women with an average age of 61 who were diagnosed with heart failure. Four-day food diary entries were analyzed for the intake of vitamin C. Participants were followed for a year, during which 61 subjects experienced cardiac events or death due to cardiac causes.
Thirty-nine percent of the subjects had inadequate vitamin C intake (according to Institute of Medicine criteria) and 46 percent had hsCRP levels higher than 3 milligrams per liter. Having a low intake of vitamin C was associated with a 2.4 times greater risk of having elevated hsCRP levels compared to those whose intake was adequate. Subjects who had reduced dietary vitamin C and high C-reactive protein had almost twice the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease over follow-up than those who had a greater intake of the vitamin and lower hsCRP levels.
The study is the first to show worse heart failure outcomes among men and women with low vitamin C intake. "We found that adequate intake of vitamin C was associated with longer survival in patients with heart failure," commented Dr Song, who is an assistant professor at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine's Department of Nursing. "Increased levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein means a worsening of heart failure. An adequate level of vitamin C is associated with lower levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. This results in a longer cardiac event-free survival in patients."
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