RRML - Screening of the vitamin B12 status in an urban population sample from Romania: a pilot study

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Concept, Design & Programming
Dr. Adrian Man

Nr. 22(2)/2014 DOI:10.2478/rrlm-2014-0018

Screening of the vitamin B12 status in an urban population sample from Romania: a pilot study

Elena C. Crăciun, Horaţiu A. Colosi, Viorica Ţărmure


The aim of this study was to evaluate the vitamin B12 status in a non-vegetarian sample of the adult urban population from Romania. The studied sample included 80 non vegetarian subjects aged between 19 and 74.6 years who did not use vitamin B12 supplements or vitamin B12 fortified food. The serum vitamin B12 assay was performed using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay on a Roche Elecsys 2010 analyzer. Among all subjects, 93.75% (95% CI 86.2-97.3%) had serum vitamin B12 concentrations in the reference range of the employed method (191-663 pg/ml). In these subjects, we found no statistically significant correlations between serum vitamin B12 concentration and age or between serum vitamin B12 concentration and hemoglobin level. The serum vitamin B12 levels did not differ significantly (p>0.05-Student’s t-test) between women and men. Subnormal serum levels of vitamin B12 were observed in 5% (95%CI 1.96-12.16%) of the investigated subjects, associated with irritable bowel syndrome and with long-term therapy with proton pomp inhibitors or birth control pills. In the present study, we have identified a large number of subjects with marginal depletion of vitamin B12 in the population aged below 50 years. These results suggest the need of a screening for vitamin B12 status in people from all age groups, the importance of the identification of responsible causes for the high prevalence of vitamin B12 marginal status, as well as the fact that monitoring the vitamin B12 status is especially important in subjects undergoing long-term treatment with certain drugs.

Keywords: general population, vitamin B12 deficiency, marginal status of vitamin B12

Received: 27.1.2014
Accepted: 18.5.2014
Published: 25.5.2014

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How to cite
Crăciun EC, Colosi HA, Ţărmure V. Screening of the vitamin B12 status in an urban population sample from Romania: a pilot study . Rev Romana Med Lab. 2014;22(2):173-9. DOI:10.2478/rrlm-2014-0018