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Antioxidants and Pulmonary Function Among Police Officers

Charles, Luenda E. PhD, MPH; Burchfiel, Cecil M. PhD, MPH; Mnatsakanova, Anna MS; Fekedulegn, Desta PhD; Tinney-Zara, Cathy MA, MPH; Joseph, P. Nedra PhD; Schunemann, Holger J. MD, PhD; Violanti, John M. PhD; Andrew, Michael E. PhD; Ochs-Balcom, Heather M. PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181f7cb4c
Original Articles

Objective: To examine associations of dietary antioxidant intake and pulmonary function.

Methods: Antioxidant data (vitamins A, C, D, E, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids) were abstracted from food frequency questionnaires. Pulmonary function was measured using American Thoracic Society criteria. We used analysis of variance to investigate associations.

Results: Among 79 police officers (57% male), forced vital capacity was positively and significantly associated with vitamin A after adjustment for age, gender, height, race, smoking status, and pack-years of smoking, and with magnesium after adjustment for those risk factors plus total calories, all supplement use, and abdominal height. Among current/former smokers only, mean levels of all pulmonary function measures were significantly associated with vitamin E; smoking status significantly modified these relationships.

Conclusions: Increased intake of vitamin A, vitamin E (among current/former smokers only), and magnesium was associated with better pulmonary function.

Author Information

From the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch (Dr Charles, Dr Burchfiel, Ms Mnatsakanova, Dr Fekedulegn, Ms Tinney-Zara, Dr Nedra, and Dr Andrew), Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WVa; Departments of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Medicine (Dr Schunemann), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (Dr Violanti, Dr Ochs-Balcom), School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

Address correspondence to: Luenda E. Charles, PhD, MPH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HELD/BEB, MailStop L-4050, 1095 Willowdale Rd., Morgantown, WV 26505-2888; E-mail:

This research was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (1RO3OH003772-01). The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine