Scientific article
Publication Date
Published by / Citation
Hong JY, Lee CY, Lee MG, et al Effects of dietary antioxidant vitamins on lung functions according to gender and smoking status in Korea: a population-based cross-sectional study BMJ Open 2018;8:e020656. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020656
Original Language


South Korea
lung functions
gender difference

Effects of Dietary Antioxidant Vitamins on Lung Functions According to Gender and Smoking Status in Korea


Objective: Cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dietary antioxidants are thought to prevent smoke-induced oxidative damage. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between lung function and the consumption of antioxidant vitamins in Korean adults.

Methods: In total, 21148 participants from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007–2014) were divided into four groups based on smoking history and gender. Multivariate regression models were used to evaluate associations between lung function and intake of dietary antioxidants.

Results: Subjects in the highest intake quintile (Q5) of vitamin A, carotene and vitamin C intake had mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) measurements that were 30 mL, 32 mL and 36 mL higher than those of individuals in the lowest intake quintile (Q1), respectively (p for trend; p=0.008, p=0.010 and p<0.001, respectively). The risks of COPD for male smokers in Q1 increased 7.60-fold (95% CI 5.92 to 9.76), 7.16-fold (95% CI 5.58 to 9.19) and 7.79-fold (95% CI 6.12 to 9.92), for vitamin A, carotene and vitamin C, respectively, compared with those of female non-smokers in Q5. Among patients with COPD, men who smoked >20 pack-years had mean FEV1 measurements that were 192 mL, 149 mL and 177 mL higher than those of patients in Q1 (p for trend; p=0.018, p=0.024 and p=0.043, for vitamin A, carotene and vitamin C, respectively).

Conclusions: These findings indicate that the influence of antioxidant vitamins on lung function depends on gender and smoking status in the Korean COPD population.

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