Serum levels of vitamin C among patients with and without age-related cataract at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
Objectives: To evaluate serum levels of vitamin C in patients aged between 45 and 60 years with and without age-related cataract.
Methods: One hundred and eighty consenting adults were recruited for this hospital-based comparative cross-sectional study and distributed equally into the cataract and no-cataract groups. They were interviewed using a pretested questionnaire on their demographics, health, lifestyle, and nutritional habits followed by full ocular examination. All the subjects had blood drawn and serum vitamin C assayed using the Cell Biolabs’ Oxiselect Ascorbic Acid Assay kit. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 21 statistical software. P-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: One hundred and seventy-eight serum vitamin C assays were analyzed (response rate of 98.9%). One hundred and fifty-eight (88.8%) participants had low levels of vitamin C, whereas 20 (11.2%) had normal levels. Serum vitamin C levels were significantly higher among the no- cataract group than the cataract group with mean values of 0.121 to 0.567 mg/dL [mean ± 2 standard deviation (SD)] and 0.160 to 0.454 mg/dL (mean ± 2SD), respectively [P= 0.004 and 95% confidence interval of −0.64 to −0.013]. Serum vitamin C levels were significantly higher among the male participants in each group (P=0.004). Serum vitamin C was found to have a weak positive correlation with the age of the participants (P=0.577).
Conclusion: In a vitamin C-depleted study population, serum vitamin C was found to have an inverse relationship with age-related cataract.