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Association between dietary vitamin C and abdominal aortic calcification among the US adults.

Nutrition Journal 2023 November 16
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality, and vascular calcification has been highly correlated with CVD events. Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) has been shown to predict subclinical CVD and incident CVD events. However, the relationship between vitamin C and abdominal aortic calcification remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship of dietary vitamin C with AAC among the adult population in the US.

METHODS: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2013-2014 provided the data for the cross-sectional study. 2297 subjects (1089 males) were included in the study. Two scoring systems, AAC 24-point scale (Kauppila) and AAC 8-point scale (Schousboe), were used for the measurement of AAC score. Dietary vitamin C intake was calculated as the average of two rounds of 24-h interview recall data and classified in tertiles for analysis. We applied weighted multiple regression analyses to assess the relationship of dietary vitamin C with AAC score and the risk of having AAC. To ensure the robustness of the findings, subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed. Additionally, smooth curve fittings, using generalized additive models (GAM) were employed to visualize potential nonlinear relationships. Furthermore, an exploratory analysis on the relationship of vitamin C supplements with AAC was also conducted.

RESULTS: The results showed that higher dietary vitamin C intake was related to a reduction in AAC score (AAC-24: β = -0.338, 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.565, -0.111, P = 0.004; AAC-8: β = -0.132, 95%CI -0.217, -0.047, P = 0.002), and lower risk of AAC (odds ratio [OR] = 0.807, 95%CI 0.659, 0.989, P = 0.038). However, the relationship of vitamin C supplements with AAC was not identified.

CONCLUSIONS: The study revealed that higher intake of dietary vitamin C rather than vitamin C supplements was related to reduced AAC score and lower risk of AAC, indicating that diets rich in vitamin C are recommended due to its potential benefits for protecting against vascular calcification and CVD among the adult population in the US.

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