All Issues >> 2018 >> Issue-10


Assessment of Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Associated Factors in Patients Attending Tertiary Care Hospital of Southern Rajasthan

Author:Poornima Sharma, Keerti Singh, Rekha Bhatnagar, Rohit Jain

Keywords:: Serum Vitamin B12, subclinical deficiency, neurological deficits, Dietary habits

Type:Original Article

Abstract:Introduction: Vitamin B12 deficiency is gaining increasing im-portance as a public health issue as subclinical deficiency is reported to exist in India in more than 30% of adults and children. Thus the present study was done to find the burden of vitamin B12 deficiency in the symptomatic patients in the tertiary care centre and to analyze its association with demographic profile, dietary habits and severity of presenting symptoms. Method: A 3 months long cross-sectional study was done in 235 symptomatic patients who were biochemically tested for serum Vitamin B12 levels. Results: Almost 25.1% patients with symptoms were found deficient in Vitamin B12 at the study centre. Deficiency is higher in males i.e. 29.6%. Higher deficiency levels were found in urban population i.e. 30.6% and vegetarians (27.7%). Maximum deficiency was seen in females when they presented with late neurological deficit like dementia or seizures (42.8%). Conclusion: Approximately 1/4th of the symptomatic population was found Vitamin B12 deficient suggesting the clinical deficiency showing the tip of the iceberg. Study findings suggest public health issue, thus further community based studies are required to evaluate it in India with large sample size and compelling IEC ac-tivities regarding dietary habits and early reporting of the symptoms and prompt treatment.