Relationship between serum vitamin B12 level, sociodemographic variables, and medical comorbidity in psychiatric in-patients

Abdul Halim, Amandeep ., Manu Sharma, Jitendra Jeenger, Vikas Singroha, Vikas Singroha


Background: To compare serum vitamin B12 levels in psychiatric in-patients and their caregivers and, to study the relationship between psychiatric diagnosis and vitamin B12 levels in psychiatric in-patients.

Methods: Adult psychiatric in-patients (n=103) and their adult caregiver (n=103) were enrolled in the present cross-sectional study. All participants underwent estimation of serum vitamin B12, complete blood counts, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), serum folate, and serum ferritin.

Results: Vitamin B12 deficiency was found more frequently (60.2%) in psychiatric patients compared to their caregiver (3.9%) (p=0.000). Psychiatric in-patients were significantly younger in age, with a lower level of serum vitamin B12 and folate, fewer numbers of polymorphs, and more numbers of lymphocytes in their peripheral compared to their caregivers. There was no statistically significant difference in socio-demographic variables such as food habit, gender, residence (rural/urban), and occupation between those patients who were deficient and those who were non-deficient in vitamin B12. There was no statistically significant difference between the psychiatric diagnoses and comorbidities in patients with and without vitamin B12 deficiency.  Patients with vitamin B12 deficiency were also not different in terms of their psychiatric diagnosis and associated comorbidities when compared with the patient without vitamin B12 deficiency.

Conclusions: Around 60% of psychiatric inpatients have low serum vitamin B12 levels. Lifestyle-related factors and chronic medical illness likely contribute to vitamin B12 deficiency in psychiatric in-patients. Adult psychiatric patients with other medical comorbidities should be screened for vitamin B12 deficiency.



Vitamin B12, Comorbidities, Psychiatric, In-patients, Folate, Depression, Anxiety

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