JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus on metformin: a case control study from Pakistan

Raheel Iftikhar, Sultan Mehmood Kamran, Adnan Qadir, Zohaib Iqbal, Hassan bin Usman
Pan African Medical Journal 2013, 16: 67
24711867

INTRODUCTION: Diabetes Mellitus is the most common endocrine disorder and metformin is the most commonly prescribed oral hypoglycemic agent. Metformin is well known to cause viamin B12 deficiency due to effect on calcium-dependent membrane action in the terminal ileum leading to malabsorption of vitamin B12. The purpose of this study is to determine prevalence and associations of Vitamin B12 deficiency in patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with metformin.

METHODS: This case control study was carried out in department of medicine, Combined Military Hospital, Kharian from 1(st) Jan 2012 to 30 december 2012. We enrolled 114 outdoor patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus currently on metformin for atleast 12 months, by consecutive sampling, and 105 age and sex matched patients taken as control. Patients with vitamin B12 levels of less than 150 pg/ml were said to be B12 deficient. The results were analyzed on SPSS version 16.

RESULTS: Serum B12 levels were low in 35 patients (31%) on metformin as compared to only 9 patients (8.6%) among controls,(p value 0.002). Mean B12 levels were significantly low in metformin group 311 pg/ml (±194.4), p value 0.03. Dose of metformin had inverse correlation with B12 levels and the difference was statistically significant with p-value < 0.001.

CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated significantly high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in patients treated with metformin with significant effect of dose and duration of metformin use on B12 levels. Physicians must recognize this important fact and screen diabetics on metformin therapy for underlying B12 deficiency.

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