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Vitamin B12 deficiency in Australian residential aged care facilities


Mirkazemi, C and Peterson, GM and Tenni, PC and Jackson, SL, Vitamin B12 deficiency in Australian residential aged care facilities, Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 16, (3) pp. 277 - 280. ISSN 1279-7707 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 Serdi and Springer Verlag France

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12603-011-0348-2


Abstract: Objective: To determine the prevalence of undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency among residential aged care facility residents in southern Tasmania, Australia, and to identify associated risk factors. Design and Setting: Cross-sectional study of residents from five southern Tasmanian residential aged care facilities. Participants: Two hundred and fifty-nine residents without a prior diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency or recorded serum B12 level within the past 6 months were approached to have their serum B12 level tested. One hundred and sixty (61%) residents consented and their doctors were contacted for further consent. A total of 130 (50%) residents completed the study. Measurements: Clinical and demographic characteristics, and serum B12 level. Results: Of the 130 residents tested, 18 residents (14%) were considered vitamin B12 deficient (serum level <150 pmol/L), 47 (36%) were equivocal (150 pmol/L to 250 pmol/L) and 65 (50%) had normal serum B12 levels (>250 pmol/L). There was a weak negative correlation between age and serum B12 level in those residents not taking a multivitamin (n=120, r=-0.19, p<0.05). The use of a multivitamin or antipsychotic drug were associated with altered mean serum B12 levels (+137 pmol/L, p<0.001 and -70 pmol/L, p<0.001 respectively). Conclusion: As vitamin B12 deficiency can manifest in a range of symptoms that are frequently misdiagnosed, the finding of undetected deficiency in 14% of residents is a cause for concern. Oral multivitamin supplementation may help prevent deficiency, and potentially treat existing deficiencies in older institutionalised people.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Vitamin B12 , Vitamin B12 deficiency, nursing homes, aged, elderly.
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Mirkazemi, C (Mrs Corinne Mirkazemi)
UTAS Author:Peterson, GM (Professor Gregory Peterson)
UTAS Author:Tenni, PC (Dr Peter Tenni)
UTAS Author:Jackson, SL (Dr Shane Jackson)
ID Code:77586
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2012-05-04
Last Modified:2013-05-13
Downloads:5 View Download Statistics

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