Vitamin C associated with decrease in postoperative atrial fibrillation – ProHealth
February 03 2017. The results of a systemic review and meta-analysis published on February 1, 2017 in BMC Cardiovascular Disorders reveal an association between supplementation with vitamin C and a reduction in postoperative atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disturbance that can lead to stroke and heart failure which affects approximately 30% of cardiac surgery patients. The analysis also found a reduction in the length of hospital stay among vitamin C-treated patients.
Harri Hemilä of the University of Helsinki and Timo Suonsyrjä of Helsinki University Central Hospital reviewed 14 randomized trials involving a total of 2006 cardiac surgery patients and one trial that investigated atrial fibrillation recurrence following successful cardioversion (correction of cardiac arrhythmia) in 44 patients. The majority of trials administered vitamin C before and after surgery.
Nine trials, which were conducted outside of the US, revealed a risk of postoperative atrial fibrillation that averaged 44% lower among treated compared to untreated patients. Additionally, length of hospital stay was decreased by 12.6% and time spent in the intensive care unit was reduced by 8% in vitamin C treated patients in non-U.S. trials. In the trial that examined the effect of vitamin C following cardioversion, there was an 87% reduction in atrial fibrillation recurrence in association with treatment.
While intravenous vitamin C was associated with a 36% decrease in postoperative atrial fibrillation, orally administered vitamin C was associated with a 73% reduction compared with untreated subjects. However, intravenously administered vitamin C was associated with a shorter hospital stay.
“Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is safe and inexpensive,” the authors write. “Further research is needed to determine the optimal dosage protocol and to identify the patient groups that benefit the most.”