Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Circulation. 2001 Apr 10;103(14):1863-8.

Serum vitamin C concentration is low in peripheral arterial disease and is associated with inflammation and severity of atherosclerosis.

Author information

Departments of Clinical Chemistry, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.



Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a severe atherosclerotic condition frequently accompanied by inflammation and oxidative stress. We hypothesized that vitamin C antioxidant levels might be low in PAD and are related to inflammation and disease severity.


We investigated vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) levels in 85 PAD patients, 106 hypertensives without PAD, and 113 healthy subjects. Serum L-ascorbic acid concentrations were low among PAD patients (median, 27.8 micromol/L) despite comparable smoking status and dietary intake with the other groups (P<0.0001). Subclinical vitamin C deficiency (<11.4 micromol/L), confirmed by low serum alkaline phosphatase activity, was found in 14% of the PAD patients but not in the other groups. Serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations were significantly higher in PAD patients (P<0.0001) and negatively correlated with L-ascorbic acid levels (r=-0.742, P<0.0001). In stepwise multivariate analysis, low L-ascorbic acid concentration in PAD patients was associated with high CRP level (P=0.0001), smoking (P=0.0009), and shorter absolute claudication distance on a standardized graded treadmill test (P=0.029).


Vitamin C concentrations are lower in intermittent claudicant patients in association with higher CRP levels and severity of PAD. Future studies attempting to relate vitamin C levels to disease occurrence should include in their analysis an inflammatory marker such as CRP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center