There is almost no information regarding the vitamin C status of patients treated in Canadian and American hospitals. We determined the prevalence and predictors of vitamin C deficiency in patients hospitalized on the acute-care wards of a Canadian teaching hospital, and tracked their plasma vitamin C concentrations while they were there.
This was a population-based cross-sectional and time course survey of 149 medical patients shortly after admission to a university teaching hospital. The procedure for sample handling, storage and analysis was validated by measuring the vitamin C concentrations of a reference sample of 141 presumably well nourished people and comparing the results with published norms.
In keeping with published norms, 13% of people in the reference group had a subnormal vitamin C concentration (