Vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies are not associated with nutritional or weight status in older adults

SOYSAL P., Smith L., Capar E., Kalan U., Arik F., IŞIK A. T.

EXPERIMENTAL GERONTOLOGY, vol.116, pp.1-6, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 116
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.12.007
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-6
  • Keywords: Vitamin B12, Folate, Nutrient, Nutritional status, Body mass index, COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT, MALNUTRITION, DEMENTIA, THERAPY
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


It is not known whether undernutrition causes vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies. The present study aimed to determine whether nutritional status, measured using the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) scale, and body mass index (BMI) are indicators of lower level serum vitamin B12 and folate in older adults. 1007 outpatients aged 65 years or over were included the study. MNA scores > 23.5, 17-23.5, < 17, were categorized as normal nutritional status, risk of malnutrition, and malnutrition, respectively. Weight status was assessed using BMI and categorized as under or normal weight (< 25 kg/m(2)), overweight (25-30 kg/m(2)), class I obese (30.0-35 kg/m(2)), class II obese (35-40 kg/m(2)), and class III obese (>= 40 kg/m(2)). Vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies were defined as < 200 pg/ml and < 3 ng/ml, respectively. Among 1007 patients with an average age of 74.3 +/- 8.2 years, 6.9% were categorized as having malnutrition and 31.2% were categorized as at risk of malnutrition. While 45.7% of patients were categorized as having vitamin B12 deficiency and 0.9% folate deficiency. There were no differences between patients with malnutrition, at risk of malnutrition, and good nutrition in serum vitamin B12 or folate levels, or the presence of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency after adjustment for age, gender, and education (p > 0.05). The results were the same across BMI classifications (p > 0.05). Vitamin B12 and folate levels are not associated with nutritional or weight status and these should be evaluated independently of BMI and MNA values.