Background: To investigate the demographic and lifestyles factors associated with vitamin C deficiency and to examine the association between plasma vitamin C level and self-reported physical functional health. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study using the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk study. Plasma vitamin C level < 11 µmol/L indicated vitamin C deficiency. Unconditional logistic regression models assessed the association between vitamin C deficiency and potential risk factors. Associations between quartiles of vitamin C and self-reported functional health measured by the 36-item short-form questionnaire (SF-36) were assessed. Results: After adjustment, vitamin C deficiency was associated with older age, being male, lower physical activity, smoking, more socially deprived area (Townsend index) and a lower educational attainment. Compared to the highest, those in the lowest quartile of vitamin C were more likely to score in the lowest decile of physical function (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.43 (95%CI: 1.21–1.70)), bodily pain (aOR: 1.29 (95% CI: 1.07–1.56)), general health (aOR: 1.4 (95%CI: 1.18–1.66)), and vitality (aOR: 1.23 (95%CI: 1.04–1.45)) SF-36 scores. Conclusions: Simple public health interventions should be aimed at populations with risk factors for vitamin C deficiency. Poor self-reported functional health was associated with lower plasma vitamin C levels, which may reflect symptoms of latent scurvy.
- vitamin C
- self-reported health
- risk factors
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- Clinical Medicine
- School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition, Applied Health Sciences - Chair in Old Age Medicine (Clinical)
- Institute of Applied Health Sciences
- Aberdeen Centre for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Health (ACAMH)
Person: Clinical Academic