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Reference values for serum levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid in a population-based sample of adults between 35 and 80 years of age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2007

Åke Wahlin
Affiliation:
Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Occupational Therapy and Elderly Care Research, Karolinska Institute, Box 6401, SE-113 82 Stockholm, Sweden Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Lars Bäckman
Affiliation:
Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Occupational Therapy and Elderly Care Research, Karolinska Institute, Box 6401, SE-113 82 Stockholm, Sweden Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Johan Hultdin
Affiliation:
Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden
Rolf Adolfsson
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Umeå, Umeå, Sweden:
Lars-Göran Nilsson
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

Objectives:

To examine folic acid and vitamin B12 status in a group of 1000 persons sampled from the community of Umeå, Sweden, and aged 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 or 80 years. Reference data for folate and age-stratified reference data for vitamin B12 are presented, together with an examination of potential confounders.

Measurements:

All subjects participated in extensive health examinations and interviews, and laboratory blood testing was performed.

Results:

A series of exclusion criteria were applied, and data from 961 subjects were analysed. Vitamin B12 levels were found to decrease with increasing age, whereas folate levels remained constant across the age span studied. None of the vitamins was found to vary with sex, education, smoking or alcohol consumption, body mass index, prescription-free vitamin supplements, level of haemoglobin, or mean cell volume of erythrocytes. Further, none of these factors was associated with the age-related decrease of vitamin B12 level.

Conclusions:

The offered reference ranges should be used only in order to rule out deficiency. For B12 levels, the age of the subject should be considered such that, for elderly people in particular, values above the medians should be considered as indicative of normal vitamin status.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © CABI Publishing 2002

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Reference values for serum levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid in a population-based sample of adults between 35 and 80 years of age
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