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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 196-201

Vitamin B12 deficiency in psychiatric patients admitted in a tertiary care hospital

1 M. K. Shah Medical College and Research Center and SMS Multispecialty Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College and SVPIMSR Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sunayna Pandey
A/2, Sannidhi Apartment, Bhaikaknagar, Thaltej, Ahmedabad - 380 059, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_69_20

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Context: Vitamin B12 also known as cobalamin is water-soluble vitamin which is required for cell metabolism in the body and its deficiency leads to various neuropsychiatric disorders including depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. Aims: To find out the prevalence of Vitamin B12 deficiency in admitted psychiatric patients and associated clinical features, hematological findings, and risk factors. Settings and Design: It was a cross-sectional, observational study. Subjects and Methods: One hundred and fifty consecutive psychiatric patients admitted in the psychiatry ward of a tertiary care hospital were enrolled in the study population. After taking written informed consent, blood sample was collected for each participant, which is otherwise also a routine investigation for all indoor patients. Sociodemographic data of the patients were collected by a semi-structured interview. Data pertaining to clinical and laboratory presentation and risk factors were also collected. Statistical Analysis Used: Analysis was done using Student's t-test, Chi-square test, and Fisher's exact test. Results: The prevalence of Vitamin B12 deficiency in indoor psychiatric patients was 33.33%. The prevalence of depression was high among these patients (36%). It is more prevalent in males (64%) and in rural population (50%). Hematological changes in peripheral smear in the form of macrocytes (10%), macroovalocytes, and target cells (12%) were common findings. Clinical symptoms such as hyperpigmentation of knuckles (24%), memory loss 16%), fatigue (70%), and tingling numbness (34%) were associated with B12 deficiency. Conclusions: The prevalence of Vitamin B12 deficiency in the study population is reasonably high. More than half of the patients with B12 deficiency were suffering from mood disorders.

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