Association of vitamin B12 deficiency and metformin use in patients with type 2 diabetes

Sun-Hye Ko, Sun-Hee Ko, Yu-Bae Ahn, Ki-Ho Song, Kyung-Do Han, Yong-Moon Park, Seung-Hyun Ko, Hye-Soo Kim
Journal of Korean Medical Science 2014, 29 (7): 965-72
We evaluated the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency and associated factors in type 2 diabetes patients using metformin. A total of 799 type 2 diabetes patients using metformin was enrolled. Vitamin B12 and folate levels were quantified by chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay. Vitamin B12 deficiency was defined as vitamin B12 ≤ 300 pg/mL without folate deficiency (folate > 4 ng/mL). The prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in metformin-treated type 2 diabetes patients was 9.5% (n = 76), and the mean vitamin B12 level was 662.5 ± 246.7 pg/mL. Vitamin B12 deficient patients had longer duration of metformin use (P < 0.001) and higher daily metformin dose (P < 0.001) than non-deficient patients. Compared with daily metformin dose of ≤ 1,000 mg, the adjusted odds ratio for 1,000-2,000 mg, and ≥ 2,000 mg were 2.52 (95% CI, 1.27-4.99, P = 0.008) and 3.80 (95% CI, 1.82-7.92, P < 0.001). Compared with metformin use of < 4 yr, the adjusted odds ratios for 4-10 yr, and ≥ 10 yr were 4.65 (95% CI, 2.36-9.16, P < 0.001) and 9.21 (95% CI, 3.38-25.11, P < 0.001), respectively. In conclusion, our study indicates that patients with type 2 diabetes treated with metformin should be screened for vitamin B12 deficiency, especially at higher dosages (> 1,000 mg) and longer durations (≥ 4 yr) of treatment.

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