Relationship between Vitamin C Deficiency and Cognitive Impairment in Older Hospitalised Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

Yogesh Sharma, Alexandra Popescu, Chris Horwood, Paul Hakendorf, Campbell Thompson

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Abstract

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and facilitates neurotransmission. This study explored association between vitamin C deficiency and cognitive impairment in older hospitalised patients. This prospective study recruited 160 patients ≥ 75 years admitted under a Geriatric Unit in Australia. Cognitive assessment was performed by use of the Mini-Mental-State-Examination (MMSE) and patients with MMSE scores <24 were classified as cognitively-impaired. Fasting plasma vitamin C levels were determined using high-performance-liquid-chromatography. Patients were classified as vitamin C deficient if their levels were below 11 micromol/L. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine whether vitamin C deficiency was associated with cognitive impairment after adjustment for various covariates. The mean (SD) age was 84.4 (6.4) years and 60% were females. A total of 91 (56.9%) were found to have cognitive impairment, while 42 (26.3%) were found to be vitamin C deficient. The mean (SD) MMSE scores were significantly lower among patients who were vitamin C deficient (24.9 (3.3) vs. 23.6 (3.4), p-value = 0.03). Logistic regression analysis suggested that vitamin C deficiency was 2.9-fold more likely to be associated with cognitive impairment after adjustment for covariates (aOR 2.93, 95% CI 1.05–8.19, p-value = 0.031). Vitamin C deficiency is common and is associated with cognitive impairment in older hospitalised patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number463
Number of pages11
JournalAntioxidants
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Clock drawing test
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Geriatric patients
  • Mini mental state examination
  • Older hospitalised patients
  • Vitamin C deficiency

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