Vitamin c status of an outpatient population

Carol Johnston, Lori L. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Objective: To determined the prevalence of vitamin C deficiency (plasma vitamin C concentrations less than 11.4 μmol/L) and vitamin C depletion (plasma vitamin C concentrations from 11.4 to less than 28.4 μmol/L) in an outpatient population. Subjects and Methods: A consecutive sample of patients presenting at a health maintenance organization laboratory for outpatient procedures was utilized. Plasma vitamin C concentrations were determined in 350 females and 144 males, aged 6 to 92 years (mean ± SD: 46.7 ± 18.7 years). Results: The mean plasma vitamin C concentration for all subjects was 32.4 ± 13.6 μmol/L. Mean plasma vitamin C did not vary by sex, race, or fasted state. Diabetics had a significantly lower mean plasma vitamin C concentration (25.6 ± 10.8 μmol/L) compared to patients presenting for general check-up/gynecological exams (33.5 ± 14.8 μmol/L) or pregnancy exams (32.4 ± 9.7 μmol/L). Six percent of subjects had plasma vitamin C concentrations indicative of vitamin C deficiency (n=31), and 30.4% of the sample were vitamin C depleted (n=150). The prevalence of vitamin C deficiency or vitamin C depletion did not differ by race or visit category. Conclusions: Surprisingly high rates of vitamin C deficiency and vitamin C depletion were evident among generally healthy, middle class patients visiting a health care facility for routine health exams, gynecological exams, and pregnancy exams. A large number of men in our army were attacked also by a certain pestilence, against which the doctors could not find any remedy in their art. A sudden pain seized their feet and legs; immediately afterwards the gums and teeth were attacked by a sort of gangrene, and the patient could not eat any more. Then the bones of the legs become horribly black, and so, after having continued pain, during which they showed the greatest patience, a large number of Christians went to rest on the bosom of our Lord. —Jacques de Vitry, the First Crusade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-370
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 1998


  • Ascorbic acid
  • Deficiency
  • Depletion
  • Status
  • Vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Vitamin c status of an outpatient population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this