Serum carotenoids and pulmonary function in older community-dwelling women

R. D. Semba, S. S. Chang, K. Sun, S. Talegawkar, L. Ferrucci, L. P. Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Deterioration in pulmonary function is associated with greater disability and mortality in older adults. Dietary antioxidants are implicated in lung health, but the relationship between major dietary antioxidants, such as serum carotenoids, and pulmonary function have not been well characterized. Serum carotenoids are considered the most reliable indicator of fruit and vegetable intake. Subjects and Methods: We examined the relationship between serum ?-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, and lycopene with pulmonary function (forced expiratory volume in one second [FEV1] and forced vital capacity [FVC]) in a population-based sample of 631 moderately to severely disabled community-dwelling older women (Women's Health and Aging Study I) in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Results: Higher serum ?-carotene and β-carotene concentrations were positively associated with both FEV1 and FVC, respectively (all P < 0.05), in separate multivariate linear regression models adjusting for age, race, education, cognition, anemia, inflammation, and chronic diseases. Total serum carotenoids were associated with FEV1 (P = 0.08) and FVC (P = 0.06), respectively, in similar models. No association was found between β- cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, and lycopene, and FEV1 or FVC. Conclusions: Higher serum ?-carotene and β-carotene concentrations, which reflect greater intake of orange and dark green leafy fruits and vegetables, were associated with better pulmonary function among older community-dwelling women.function may lead to food avoidance and to a higher incidence of digestive complaints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Carotenoids
  • Lung function
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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