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Evaluation of vitamin B12 deficiency in preschool children-A pilot study in east Delhi

Volume No : (2015) Volume: 03 Issue : 16 Year : 2015 Page No: 561-564

Authors : Shikha Sharma, Pradeep Kumar Dabla

Abstract :

Anemia is an important health concern worldwide, particularly in tropical and sub-tropical countries such as in India. The objective of the present study was to determine the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in pre-school children of 6 to 60 months (5 years). Methods: Vitamin B12 assays on 528 children between 6 months to 5 years over a period of 2 years were reviewed. Individuals were considered deficient if vitamin B12 levels < 200 pg/mL and border line deficient if levels were < 350 pg/mL. Results: Vitamin B12 deficiency was observed in 44.1% of the paediatric population in age group of 6-60 months. 52.5% of children were found deficient when cut-off was taken < 200 pg/mL. Mean value of B12 observed in the study population was 188.96 ± 93.1 pg/mL. No difference in B12 levels were observed between male and female children. Conclusion: Vitamin B12 deficiency is prevalent in population studied and serum Vitamin B12 status is an important predictor for plasma Hb concentration. Thus the low level of Vitamin B12 may be a cause for high anemia prevalence. So, improving the status of this micronutrient by dietary modification and supplementation may reduce the burden of childhood anemia in India.

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