Effect of Therapy with Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid on Elderly Patients with Low Concentrations of Serum Vitamin B12 or Erythrocyte Folate but Normal Blood Counts

To help understand the haematological significance of the low concentrations of serum vitamin B12 and erythrocyte folate occurring in elderly patients, 17 acute admissions to a geriatric unit with a low concentration of serum vitamin B12 or erythrocyte folate but a normal blood count were treated with vitamin B12 and folic acid for 3 months

J.H. Matthews; D.M. Clark; G.M. Abrahamson

2009

Scholarcy highlights

  • To help understand the haematological significance of the low concentrations of serum vitamin B12 and erythrocyte folate occurring in elderly patients, 17 acute admissions to a geriatric unit with a low concentration of serum vitamin B12 or erythrocyte folate but a normal blood count were treated with vitamin B12 and folic acid for 3 months
  • Ten untreated similar patients showed no change in their MCV over the same period, but the mean Hb fell from 14.0 to 13.1 g/dl
  • The low concentrations of serum vitamin B12 or erythrocyte folate found in approximately a quarter of acutely admitted elderly patients may indicate true tissue deficiency of these vitamins, even when the blood count is normal

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