A study by a team of researchers from University of Ulsan in South Korea said participants with low vitamin C intake and hsCRP over three mg per litre were nearly twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease within one year of follow-up.
The South Korean study is the first to demonstrate that low vitamin C intake is linked with the worse outcomes for heart patients.
"We found that adequate intake of vitamin C was associated with longer survival in patients with heart failure," said Eun Kyeung Song, assistant professor in nursing, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, who also led the study.
Among the average age of 61 from the 212 patients, about one-third of participants were women and approximately 45 percent of the participants had moderate to severe heart failure, according to an Ulsan statement.
The study completed a four-day food diary verified by a registered dietician and a software programme that calculated their vitamin C intake and blood tests that measured the hsCRP. Researchers divided the participants into two groups, one group with levels over three mg per litre of hsCRP and another with lower levels.
Then the patients were followed for one year to determine the length of time from their first visit to the emergency department due to cardiac problems or death.
The researchers also found that 82 patients (39 percent) had inadequate vitamin C intake, according to a criteria set by the Institute of Medicine that allowed the researchers to estimate the likelihood of the patient's diet to be habitually deficient in vitamin C based on a four-day food diary.
After a year, 61 patients (29 percent) had cardiac events, which included an emergency department visit or hospitalisation due to cardiac problems, or cardiac death.
The findings were presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions this year.