Prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in elderly population with dementia
Keywords:Dementia, Vitamin B12 deficiency, Cognitive impairment.
Background: Factors that can interfere with the output of the elderly during the normal ageing phase especially when cognitive impairment is involved. This in turn, may lead to major disabilities and to the deterioration of the quality of life of the elderly. The findings presented herein should therefore provide a thorough explanation of the relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and its effects on this population. Aims: The objective of our study was to establish the prevalence in our local area of major forms of dementia and the prevalence of B12-deficient dementia. Materials and methods: A prospective cohort study involving 270 elderly patients with dementia. Subjects were elderly patients above 60 years of age who were recruited,all patients who presented to OPD with complaints of dementia (satisfying the inclusion criteria) were included in the study and evaluated further with detailed history, examination and MMSE. Results: Out of 270 patients with dementia 45 cases suffered from B12 deficiency 45 cases with prevalence of 17%. Most of the elderly people suffer from infarct in brain. There is male predominance in B 12 deficiency but there is no significance. > 81 years have significance in prevalence of vitamin B 12 deficiency. In total 45 patients of Vitamin B12 deficiency in which 35 cases (77.8%) have anorexia as presentation followed by paraesthesia 32 case (71%) . Vegetarian diet predisposes a person to developing B12 deficiency. Anaemia and cognitive impairment are features of vitamin B12 deficiency. Conclusion: With this marked increase and a high prevalence of B12 deficiency in the elderly population, B12 levels are recommended for all elderly patients with dementia because it is a potentially treatable cause that can substantially enhance the memory and quality of life of a patient.