Dr. Stephane Vannier of Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France, said a study of 65 people who had experienced an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke, which is a blood vessel rupture inside the brain, and a control group of 65 healthy people revealed vitamin C levels are linked to the strokes.
Tests for vitamin C levels in the participants' blood showed 41 percent had normal levels, 45 percent showed depleted levels and 14 percent were considered deficient.
The study found, on average, the people who had a stroke had depleted levels of vitamin C, while those who had not had a stroke had normal levels, Vannier, the study author, said.
"Our results show that vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke, as were high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and being overweight in our study," Vannier said in a statement.
"More research is needed to explore specifically how vitamin C may help to reduce stroke risk. For example, the vitamin may regulate blood pressure."
Vitamin C deficiency has also been linked to heart disease, Vannier said.
The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th annual meeting in Philadelphia, April 26 to May 3.