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Free Content Plasma vitamin C assay in women of reproductive age in Kampala, Uganda, using a colorimetric method

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Objective  Vitamin C alone or in combination with vitamin E has been proposed to prevent pre‐eclampsia. In this study, we assayed the plasma vitamin C in women of reproductive age in Kampala and assessed its association with pre‐eclampsia.

Methods  Participants in this study were 215 women with pre‐eclampsia, 400 women with normal pregnancy attending antenatal clinic and 200 non‐pregnant women attending family planning clinic at Mulago Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology from 1st May 2008 to 1st May 2009. Plasma vitamin C was assayed using the acid phosphotungstate method; differences in the means of plasma vitamin C were determined by anova.

Results  Mean plasma vitamin C levels were 1.72 (SD 0.68) × 103 μg/l in women with pre‐eclampsia, 1.89 (SD 0.73) × 103 μg/l in women with normal pregnancy and 2.64 (SD 0.97) × 103 μg/l in non‐pregnant women. Plasma vitamin C was lower in women with pre‐eclampsia than in women with normal pregnancy (P = 0.005) and non‐pregnant women (P < 0.001).

Conclusion  Health workers need to advise women of reproductive age on foods that are rich in vitamin C, as this may improve the vitamin status and possibly reduce the occurrence of pre‐eclampsia.

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda 2:  School of Public Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda 3:  Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa 4:  Department of Pathology, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda 5:  Department of Health, Uganda Christian University, Mukono, Uganda

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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