(HealthDay News) — Vitamin C depletion is associated with intracerebral hemorrhage risk, according to a study released in advance of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from April 26–May 3 in Philadelphia.

Stéphane Vannier, MD, from the Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France, and colleagues conducted a prospective case-control study to examine the correlation between vitamin C concentration and intracerebral hemorrhage risk. Vitamin C concentrations were measured in 65 consecutive cases and in 65 matched controls.

The researchers found that 41% of cases had normal vitamin C status, and 45 and 14%, respectively, showed depletion and deficiency. In the overall population, the mean plasma vitamin C concentration was 45.8 ± 22.6 µmol/L. Vitamin C depletion was seen in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (35.3 ± 19.9 µmol/L) while controls had normal vitamin C status (56.2 ± 20.4 µmol/L; P< 0.001). Significant risk factors for deep intracerebral hemorrhage included high blood pressure, alcohol consumption, and overweight. Older patients (aged 75 years≤) had significantly more lobar than deep intracerebral hemorrhages. Vitamin D depletion was associated with longer hospitalization (P=0.026), but not with acute or three-month mortality.

“Our results show that vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke, as were high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and being overweight in our study,” Vannier said in a statement. “More research is needed to explore specifically how vitamin C may help to reduce stroke risk.”

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