Background: To investigate the demographic and lifestyles factors associated with vitamin C deficiency and to examine the association between plasma vitamin C level and self-reported physical functional health. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study using the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk study. Plasma vitamin C level < 11 εmol/L indicated vitamin C deficiency. Unconditional logistic regression models assessed the association between vitamin C deficiency and potential risk factors. Associations between quartiles of vitamin C and self-reported functional health measured by the 36-item short-form questionnaire (SF-36) were assessed. Results: After adjustment, vitamin C deficiency was associated with older age, being male, lower physical activity, smoking, more socially deprived area (Townsend index) and a lower educational attainment. Compared to the highest, those in the lowest quartile of vitamin C were more likely to score in the lowest decile of physical function (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.43 (95%CI: 1.21–1.70)), bodily pain (aOR: 1.29 (95% CI: 1.07–1.56)), general health (aOR: 1.4 (95%CI: 1.18–1.66)), and vitality (aOR: 1.23 (95%CI: 1.04–1.45)) SF-36 scores. Conclusions: Simple public health interventions should be aimed at populations with risk factors for vitamin C deficiency. Poor self-reported functional health was associated with lower plasma vitamin C levels, which may reflect symptoms of latent scurvy.
McCall, S. J., Clark, A. B., Luben, R. N., Wareham, N. J., Khaw, K. T., & Myint, P. K. (2019). Plasma vitamin c levels: Risk factors for deficiency and association with self-reported functional health in the European prospective investigation into cancer-norfolk. Nutrients, 11(7). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071552