Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency in elderly patients.

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Vitamin B12 or cobalamin deficiency occurs frequently (> 20%) among elderly people, but it is often unrecognized because the clinical manifestations are subtle; they are also potentially serious, particularly from a neuropsychiatric and hematological perspective. Causes of the deficiency include, most frequently, food-cobalamin malabsorption syndrome (> 60% of all cases), pernicious anemia (15%–20% of all cases), insufficent dietary intake and malabsorption. Food-cobalamin malabsorption, which has only recently been identified as a significant cause of cobalamin deficiency among elderly people, is characterized by the inability to release cobalamin from food or a deficiency of intestinal cobalamin transport proteins or both. We review the epidemiology and causes of cobalamin deficiency in elderly people, with an emphasis on food-cobalamin malabsorption syndrome. We also review diagnostic and management strategies for cobalamin deficiency. PMID: 15289425
Title of abstract: 
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency in elderly patients.
Author: 
Prousky JE.
Affiliations: 
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
Citedate: 
Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 19:00
Citation: 
CMAJ, 2004;171(3):251-9.
 

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