Ascorbic acid is an antioxidant nutrient possibly related to the development of atherosclerosis. To examine the relation between ascorbic acid and coronary artery calcium, an indicator of subclinical coronary disease, the authors analyzed data from 2,637 African-American and White men and women aged 18-30 years at baseline who were enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study (1985-2001). Participants completed diet histories at enrollment and year 7, and plasma ascorbic acid levels were obtained at year 10. Coronary artery computed tomography was performed at year 15. The authors calculated odds ratios in four biologically relevant plasma ascorbic acid categories, adjusting for possible confounding variables. When compared with men with high plasma ascorbic acid levels, men with low levels to marginally low levels had an increased prevalence of coronary artery calcium (multivariate odds ratio = 2.68, 95% confidence interval: 1.31, 5.48). Among women, the association was attenuated and nonsignificant (multivariate odds ratio = 1.50, 95% confidence interval: 0.58, 3.85). Ascorbic acid intakes from diet alone and diet plus supplements were not associated with coronary artery calcium. Low to marginally low plasma ascorbic acid levels were associated with a higher prevalence of coronary artery calcium among men but not among women.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by grant HL53359 and by contracts HC-48047, HC-48048, HC-48049, and HC-48050 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Ascorbic acid
- Cardiovascular diseases