Vitamin B12 in metformin-treated diabetic patients: a cross-sectional study in Brazil

Monique Nervo, Adriano Lubini, Fabiana Viegas Raimundo, Gustavo Adolpho Moreira Faulhaber, Carine Leite, Leonardo Moura Fischer, Tania Weber Furlanetto
Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira 2011, 57 (1): 46-9

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the presence of vitamin B12 deficiency and the factors associated with serum vitamin B12 levels in a sample of metformin-treated Brazilian diabetic patients.

METHOD: Cross-sectional study.

RESULTS: 144 patients were included. Serum vitamin B12 levels were low (< 125 pmol/L) in 10 patients (6.9%) and possibly low (125 - 250 pmol/L) in 53 patients (36.8%). Serum vitamin B12 levels were negatively associated with age (B = -3.17; β= -0.171; p = 0.037) and duration of metformin use (B= -33.36; β= -0.161; p = 0.048), and positively associated with the estimated intake of vitamin B12 (B= 67.96; β= 0.249; p = 0.002).

CONCLUSION: The present findings suggest a high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in metformin-treated diabetic patients. Older patients, patients in long term treatment with metformin and low vitamin B12 intake are probably more prone to this deficiency.

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