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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Feb;50(2):115-20.

Plasma ascorbic acid concentrations in the Republic of Karelia, Russia and in North Karelia, Finland.

Author information

1
National Public Health Institute, Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the plasma ascorbic acid concentrations among men in North Karelia (Finland) and in Pitkäranta (Republic of Karelia) and to test how a short intervention would affect the plasma concentrations.

DESIGN:

The baseline survey was done as a cross-sectional population survey. A subsample was selected to the intervention study and randomised to treatment and control groups.

SETTING:

North Karelia province in Finland and the Pitkäranta area in the Republic of Karelia.

SUBJECTS:

In the cross-section population survey the stratified random sample of men between 25 and 64 years of age was 1000 in North Karelia and 500 in Pitkäranta. Participation rates were 68% and 77%, respectively. Plasma ascorbic acid measurements were made in one-third of the sample. In Pitkäranta 60 men, having very low plasma ascorbic acid concentrations, were invited to the intervention study.

INTERVENTIONS:

A controlled intervention study was made with blackcurrant-strawberry nectar in which vitamin C content was approximately 70 mg/100 g. The treatment group drank two times daily 200 ml nectar for 4-5 weeks. After intervention plasma ascorbic acid concentration was measured from both treatment and control groups.

RESULTS:

Plasma ascorbic acid concentrations were very different in the two areas. In Pitkäranta 93% of the men and in North Karelia only 2% of the men had plasma levels suggesting severe vitamin C deficiency. After intervention 46% of the men in the experimental group compared with 5% in the control group had plasma ascorbic acid concentrations exceeding 23 mumol/l (4.0 mg/l).

CONCLUSIONS:

In addition to a high smoking prevalence the very low ascorbic acid concentration among men in the Republic Karelia can have an effect on the high cardiovascular disease mortality.

PMID:
8641247
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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