Vitamin C deficiency in Australian hospitalized patients: an observational study.

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Vitamin C deficiency in Australian hospitalized patients: an observational study.

Intern Med J. 2018 Jul 03;:

Authors: Sharma Y, Miller M, Shahi R, Doyle A, Horwood C, Hakendorf P, Thompson C

BACKGROUND: Vitamin C has anti-oxidant properties and acts as a co-factor for a number of enzymes. Hypovitaminosis C has been associated with bleeding, endothelial dysfunction and death. The prevalence of hypovitaminosis C is unknown in Australian hospitalized patients and its clinical relevance is uncertain.
AIMS: To determine prevalence, characteristics and clinical outcomes of hospitalized patients with hypovitaminosis C.
METHODS: This observational study included general-medical inpatients in a tertiary-level hospital in Australia. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to determine plasma vitamin C levels. As per Johnston's criteria, vitamin C levels of ≥28 μmol/L were classified as normal and <28 μmol/L as low. Clinical outcomes determined included length of hospital stay (LOS), nosocomial complications, intensive care unit admission and in-hospital mortality.
RESULTS: Two-hundred patients participated in this study and vitamin C levels were available for 149 patients, of which, 35 (23.5%) had normal vitamin C levels and 114 (76.5%) had hypovitaminosis C. Patients with hypovitaminosis C were older and had higher C-reactive protein (C-RP) levels. Median LOS was two days longer in patients with hypovitaminosis C (6 days (IQR 4, 8) vs. 4 days (IQR 3, 6), p=0.02) and they had four-fold higher odds of staying in hospital for >5 days than those with normal vitamin C levels. Other clinical outcomes were similar between the two groups CONCLUSIONS: Hypovitaminosis C is common in hospitalized patients and is associated with prolonged LOS. Further research is needed to ascertain the benefits of vitamin C supplementation in vitamin C depleted patients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 29968401 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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