Déficit de vitamina B-12 en adultos mayores: ¿Un problema de salud pública en Chile?
MetadataShow full item record
Background: There is a correlation between aging and the decrease of plasma levels of vitamin B-12. Aim: To determine the prevalence of vitamin B-12 and folate deficiency and its hematological impact among older adults (AM). Material and Methods: Cross-sectional study, in 1028 subjects aged 65 to 87 years, living in community and evaluated between 2005 and 2008. Percentile distribution of vitamin B-12, folate, hemoglobin, packed red cell volume and mean cell volume by gender and age were analyzed. Deficiency was defined as vitamin B-12 levels < 148 pmol/L, marginal deficiency as vitamin B-12 levels < 221 pmol/L, anemia was defined as an hemoglobin < 13 and 12 g/dL among men and women, respectively. Results: The prevalence of vitamin B-12 deficiency was 12% and the figure for marginal deficiency was 25.4%. Males were more affected than females (p < 0.001). The frequency of anemia was 8.6%, and was higher among women (p = 0.004). Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of full blown and marginal deficit of vitamin B-12 among the elderly. This deficiency should be considered for correction through public nutrition policies.