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Table of Contents
Vol. 40, No. 5, 1994
Issue release date: 1994
Section title: Clinical Section
Gerontology 1994;40:268–272
(DOI:10.1159/000213595)

A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Parallel Trial of Vitamin C Treatment in Elderly Patients with Hypertension

Ghosh S.K. · Ekpo E.B. · Shah I.U. · Girling A.J. · Jenkins C. · Sinclair A.J.
aWrexham Maelor Hospital, Clwyd; bUniversity Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Birmingham; cUniversity Department of Geriatric Medicine, Cardiff, UK

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Section

Received: 12/20/1993
Accepted: 1/20/1994
Published online: 4/14/2009

Number of Print Pages: 5
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER

Abstract

We have investigated the effect on blood pressure of treatment with vitamin C (an antioxidant and free radical scavenger) in patients with both systolic and essential hypertension. Following a 2-week run-in phase, two age- and sex-matched groups of untreated hypertensive subjects were randomised in a double-blind study to receive 6 weeks’ oral treatment with either vitamin C, 250 mg twice daily (n = 22; 8M/14F, mean age 73.7 ± 4.9 years) or placebo, one capsule twice daily (n = 26; 10M/16F, mean age 73.8 ± 5.3 years). Blood pressure was measured in the sitting position using a random zero sphygmomanometer on three occasions during the run-in phase, and again at 2, 4 and 6 weeks after commencing treatment. Venous blood samples for measurement of plasma ascorbic acid (AA) and lipid peroxides (LP) were measured in all subjects at baseline and at 4 and 6 weeks after the start of vitamin C or placebo treatment. During the study period, significant falls in both systolic (vitamin C group, mean change -10.3 (95% CI 0.7-20.0) mm Hg, p = 0.05) and diastolic (vitamin C group, mean change -5.9 (95% CI 0.2-11.5) mm Hg, p = 0.03; placebo group, mean change -4.7 (95% CI 0.3-9.1) mm Hg, p = 0.05) blood pressure occurred. However, no statistical difference between the effects of either treatment on blood pressure was observed. At baseline, AA concentrations were lower in the vitamin C-treated group compared with the placebo group (44.6 ± 2.4 vs. 57.7 ± 4.2 μmol/l, p < 0.05). At 6 weeks, AA concentrations were similar to baseline in the placebo group (50.8 ± 4.6 μmol/l) but were significantly higher than at baseline in the vitamin C-treated group (80.7 ± 7.5 μmol/lp < 0.001). At baseline, LP concentrations were similar in the vitamin C and placebo-treated groups (5.0 ± 1.0 vs. 3.6 ± 0.8 nmol/l, respectively). After 6 weeks’ treatment with vitamin C, LP concentrations fell significantly to 1.6 ± 0.4 nmol/l, but no significant change after placebo was observed (4.4 ± nmol/l). We conclude: (1) No significant fall in blood pressure occurred after 6 weeks’ treatment with vitamin C in comparison with placebo; (2) vitamin C treatment is associated with a marked antioxidant action but further studies are required to relate whether this action is relevant to any hypotensive action of this vitamin; (3) the small fall in systolic blood pressure after vitamin C may have wider implications in population-based studies in reducing stroke incidence in elderly patients and suggests the need for large long-term studies to be established.


  

Author Contacts

Dr. AJ. Sinclair, BSc MSc MD MRCP, Senior Lecturer and Consultant Physician, University Department of Geriatric Medicine, Cardiff Royal Infirmary (West Wing), Cardiff CF2 1SZ (UK)

  

Article Information

Received: December 20, 1993
Accepted: January 20, 1994
Published online: April 14, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 5

  

Publication Details

Gerontology (International Journal of Experimental, Clinical, Behavioural and Technological Gerontology)

Vol. 40, No. 5, Year 1994 (Cover Date: 1994)

Journal Editor: Wick G. (Innsbruck)
ISSN: 0304-324X (Print), eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Section

Received: 12/20/1993
Accepted: 1/20/1994
Published online: 4/14/2009

Number of Print Pages: 5
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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