A Clinimetric Approach To The Detection And Management Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Among A Vegan Group In Rural Coimbatore In Tamilnadu 3187-3190
Dr.Bharatwaj R.S MD.,
Department of Community Medicine,
Shri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences,
Introduction: Unfortified plant based foods do not contain Vit B12. The deficiency of the vitamin is markedly under-diagnosed and is widespread in the developing countries. Low B12 levels can have profound effects on the patientâ€™s well-being and if this condition is not detected and treated, it can lead to serious irreversible sequelae. There is no gold standard test for diagnosing the B12 deficiency.
Materials and Methods: 121 vegans living as a group were assessed for the deficiency of Vit B12 by using a clinimetric tool. Those who were found positive were given parenteral B12 supplementation and were followed up for a three month period. The results were tabulated and analyzed by tests for the significance of the difference in the proportions.
Results and Discussion:91(75.2%) of participants were found to be positive for Vit B12 deficiency. The most common (90.1%) presentations were loss of appetite, excess fatigue, mood swings and irritability. The deficiency was significantly higher among the participants who were vegans for more than 5 years. The treatment with parenteral B12 brought about a dramatic improvement in 85.7% of the deficient participants. 93.5% of the participants who were found to be deficient did show a perceptible improvement in well being by the end of three months.
Conclusion:Clinimetric approaches to detect Vit B12 deficiency, a majority of which is sub-clinical, as a primary care tool at least for the high risk groups, would definitely help in alleviating a big magnitude of suffering people in the general population.