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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Dec;38(7):1788-94.

Antioxidant vitamins and the risk of carotid atherosclerosis. The Perth Carotid Ultrasound Disease Assessment study (CUDAS).

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1
Gairdner Campus of the Heart Research Institute of Western Australia, Western, Nedlands, Perth, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study examined whether dietary intake or plasma levels of antioxidant vitamins were independently associated with common carotid artery intima-media (wall) thickness (IMT) or focal plaque, or both, in a large, randomly selected community population.

BACKGROUND:

Oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is thought to be important in early atherogenesis. Antioxidant micronutrients may therefore protect against lipid peroxidation and atherosclerotic vascular disease.

METHODS:

We studied 1,111 subjects (558 men and 553 women; age 52 +/- 13 years [mean +/- SD], range 27 to 77). We measured dietary vitamin intake and fasting plasma levels of vitamins A, C and E, lycopene and alpha- and beta-carotene and performed bilateral carotid artery B-mode ultrasound imaging. RESULTS; After adjustment for age and conventional risk factors, there was a progressive decrease in mean IMT, with increasing quartiles of dietary vitamin E intake in men (p = 0.02) and a nonsignificant trend in women (p = 0.10). Dietary vitamin E levels accounted for 1% of the variance in measured IMT in men. For plasma antioxidant vitamins, there was an inverse association between carotid artery mean IMT and plasma lycopene in women (p = 0.047), but not in men. None of the other dietary or plasma antioxidant vitamins, nor antioxidant vitamin supplements, were associated with carotid artery IMT or focal carotid artery plaque.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides limited support for the hypothesis that increased dietary intake of vitamin E and increased plasma lycopene may decrease the risk of atherosclerosis. No benefit was demonstrated for supplemental antioxidant vitamin use.

PMID:
11738275
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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