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Dietary Intake of Antioxidant Vitamins and Carotenoids and Risk of Developing Active Tuberculosis in a Prospective Population-Based Cohort Study

Soh, A.Z.; Chee, C.B.E.; Wang, Y.-T.; Yuan, J.-M.; Koh, W.-P.

American Journal of Epidemiology 186(4): 491-500

2017


ISSN/ISBN: 1476-6256
PMID: 28520939
DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwx132
Accession: 059606738

Antioxidants may protect against oxidative stress, which is associated with tuberculosis (TB) disease. However, direct evidence for a protective association between dietary antioxidants and TB incidence in humans has been lacking. The relationship between intake of antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, C, D, and E) and individual carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and lutein) and TB incidence was examined in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective cohort study of 63,257 adults aged 45-74 years enrolled during 1993-1998. Baseline intake of these antioxidants was estimated using a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire including questions on use of dietary supplements. After an average of 16.9 years of follow-up, 1,186 incident active TB cases were identified among cohort participants. Compared with the lowest quartile, reduced risk of active TB was observed for the highest quartile of vitamin A intake (hazard ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval: 0.59, 0.85; P-trend < 0.01) and β-carotene intake (hazard ratio = 0.76, 95% confidence interval: 0.63, 0.91; P-trend < 0.01), regardless of smoking status. Lower TB risk was seen for vitamin C intake among current smokers only. Other vitamins and carotenoids were not associated with TB risk. These results suggest that vitamin C may reduce TB risk among current smokers by ameliorating oxidative stress, while vitamin A and β-carotene may have additional antimycobacterial properties.

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