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Effect of vitamin C supplementation on stroke recovery: A case-control study

Authors Meheroz H Rabadi, Bruce S Kristal

Published 15 April 2007 Volume 2007:2(1) Pages 147—151


Meheroz H Rabadi1, Bruce S Kristal2,3

1Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Weill Medical College of Cornell Medical College, White Plains, NY, USA; 2Burke Medical Research Institute, an affiliate of Weill Medical College of Cornell Medical College, White Plains, NY, USA; 3Department of Neuroscience, Cornell University Medical College, White Plains, NY, USA

Background and purpose: Epidemiological studies have associated increased dietary intake of antioxidants (vitamin C, E, and β-carotene) in preventing and decreasing the extent of ischemic brain injury. The effect of vitamin C supplementation on functional recovery after stroke has not been studied.

Method: In this retrospective, case-control study of 23 patients with ischemic stroke taking vitamin C were identified and matched for age, sex, onset to admission, and admission total functional independence measure (TFIM) with 23 patients with ischemic stroke not taking Vitamin C supplementation. Vitamin C 1000 mg daily was prescribed on admission to our unit mainly to patients who were undernourished (defined as significant weight loss and/or 90% or less ideal body weight for age and sex) and those with pressure sores. The outcome measures were: change in the TFIM, FIM-Cognition (FIM-Cog), and FIM-Motor sub-scores, discharge disposition, and length of stay (LOS).

Results: The change in TFIM (20 ± 13 standard deviation [SD] vs. 26 ± 6, p = 0.20), FIM-Cog (3 ± 3 SD vs. 4 ± 5, p = 0.41), FIM-Motor (15 ± 11 SD vs. 20 ± 13, p = 0.21) sub-scores were less in the vitamin C treated group, but these differences did not reach statistical significance. Similarly, no significant differences were found in LOS (21 ± 9 SD vs. 23 ± 9, p = 0.59), and discharge disposition (home/institution) (9/10 vs. 13/9, p = 0.60) between the vitamin C and the control groups.

Conclusion: This study suggests vitamin C supplementation did not enhance functional recovery in undernourished ischemic stroke patients.

Keywords: vitamin C; ischemic stroke; functional recovery

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